Richard Hamilton had a major hand in helping the Detroit Pistons sweep the Orlando Magic out of the playoffs last season.
After missing the team's opener, the Pistons' leading scorer in each of the last five seasons could made his season debut Friday night when Detroit visits Orlando for the first time since last year's postseason.
Hamilton, who averaged 18.3 points as Detroit swept its first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Magic last season, missed the Pistons' 91-80 season-opening victory at Miami on Thursday because of a family matter.
Detroit (1-0) hopes to have its star guard - who averaged 19.8 points in 2006-07 - back Friday when it tries for a fifth straight regular season win over Orlando (1-0), which beat Milwaukee 102-83 in its season opener Wednesday.
Arron Afflalo, Detroit's top pick in June, would likely start again if Hamilton does not play Friday. Afflalo had three points in 14 minutes in his NBA debut on Thursday.
The Pistons didn't really miss Hamilton, however, as Tayshaun Prince scored a career-high 34 points on 13-for-23 shooting.
"With Rip out, I had to really respond," Prince said. "When you get layups and good looks at the rim, you are in a good rhythm."
Chauncey Billups added 19 points and 11 assists for the Pistons. He averaged 26.0 points in the four victories over Orlando during the regular season in 2006-07.
Detroit looks to open a season with two straight road wins for the second time in three seasons.
"If you continue to play aggressively, good things will happen," Prince said.
Orlando looks to start 2-0 for the first time in three seasons and appears to have a more balanced offense under new coach Stan Van Gundy, who is facing Detroit for the first time since his final game coaching Miami in a Game 7 loss of the Eastern Conference finals in 2005.
Rashard Lewis scored 26 points and was 4-for-5 from 3-point range in his Orlando debut Wednesday. The former Seattle All-Star agreed to an $118 million contract in a sign-and-trade deal in the offseason that already appears to be paying off.
"Things like he did (Wednesday) will only make things better for everyone," said Orlando's Dwight Howard, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds in the opener. "I'm in the post, everybody's making shots, it's a chance to go one-on-one. Then when I get going one-on-one, it opens things up and we get the shots."
Howard averaged 20.8 points and 13.5 rebounds last regular season versus Detroit, but 15.3 points in the playoff series.
"We've got a lot of scorers on our team," Howard said. "I'll try every night to dominate on the boards and in the paint. Then we'll have a good chance to win."
Van Gundy is enjoying the developing chemistry between his two stars.
"He (Lewis) was scoring off the ball and making jumpers," Van Gundy said. "He can hurt you in a lot of ways. He is a great complimentary guy to a guy like Dwight when you want to go to Dwight, but you can also go to him. He's a very versatile guy."
Hedo Turkoglu also added 24 points for Orlando, which shot 54.5 percent (12-for-22) from 3-point range, better than the 43.8 percent it shot from the field.
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