MILWAUKEE, April 26 (Ticker) -- The NBA's best defensive team is on the verge of advancing in the playoffs after a dominant offensive performance.

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Richard Hamilton scored 27 points and Rasheed Wallace added 20 and nine rebounds as the Pistons took a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks with a 109-92 victory.

Rasheed Wallace and the Pistons now hold a two-game series lead.
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Detroit is considered a contender because of its suffocating defense but beat high-scoring Milwaukee at its own game. The Pistons shot 57 percent (41-of-72) from the floor after shooting under 43 percent in the first three games of the series.

"I don't think we can play better," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "I think we did about as good as we've played all year and I think we needed that kind of effort."

Hamilton made 10-of-17 shots and Chauncey Billups scored 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting and dished out nine assists. Tayshaun Prince was 8-of-11 from the floor and finished with 17 points.

Detroit was clinging to a 71-68 lead late in the third quarter before scoring 18 of the next 25 points. Rasheed Wallace had six points and Hamilton added five during the spurt, capping it with a layup for an 89-75 cushion with 6 1/2 minutes to go.

Milwaukee rallied within seven with two minutes remaining, but Prince answered with a 3-pointer and Detroit made all eight of its free throws in the final 69 seconds.

The Pistons essentially won the game from the line, where they made their final 17 attempts to cap a 20-of-21 performance.

Damon Jones scored 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting and dished out 10 assists against his former team for Milwaukee, which lost both games at home after splitting the two at Detroit.

"It was b-i-g for us to come in here and do that," Wallace said. "We just had to stick to our game plan. We watched film and went over some of their key plays in practice, and we just had to come in and execute."

"It's very disappointing to us because we've played extremely well all year in this building against quality opponents," Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said. "That is very disappointing, not being able to come back home and get one of these games."

Joe Smith collected 17 points and 12 rebounds and Toni Kukoc scored 15 points off the bench for the Bucks, who committed 16 turnovers that led to 28 points for the Pistons.

"We gave them too many easy opportunities. We gave them 28 points," Porter said. "You just cannot do that. Whenever we do that, we really struggle."

The Bucks averaged 98 points during the regular season but are managing just 86 per game against Detroit.

All-Star Michael Redd continued to struggle, scoring just 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting and committing four turnovers.

Detroit hosts Game 5 on Thursday.