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Hamilton, Pistons win fifth straight

Nov 25, 2006 - 3:42 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Richard Hamilton and the Detroit Pistons are rolling.

Hamilton scored 26 points and Tayshaun Prince added 21 as the Pistons pushed their season-high winning streak to five games with a 104-95 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Rasheed Wallace had 19 points and nine rebounds for Detroit, which shot 49 percent (41-of-83) from the field. The Pistons have held each foe under 100 points during the streak.

"We're just trying to find our niche," Wallace said. "We're better than we were the first few games but we're still not where we want to be. We've done better things than this the last few years. These are just baby steps."

"It's effort, and our new guys getting acclimated," Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said. "When we're playing well and executing, we're tough to beat."

The Bobcats took an 82-78 lead on Raymond Felton's 18-footer at the nine-minute mark of the fourth quarter before the Pistons put together a 13-3 run.

Billups hit a 3-pointer and Carlos Delfino dunked to give Detroit a 91-85 advantage with 5 1/2 minutes remaining. Detroit never looked back thereafter.

"We made some critical mistakes. We had some shots that weren't the best and we turned the ball over in critical times," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "The guy they have handling the ball (Billups) is very good and safe in terms of handling the basketball."

"They're a championship team. When you get in the fourth quarter, they know how to win games," Bobcats guard Matt Carroll said. "They hit big shots. They push it around and they always hit threes in the corner. Prince hit some big shots. That's what really hurt us."

Delfino, who scored all six of his points in the fourth quarter, provided a huge spark off the bench and played good defense on Charlotte rookie Adam Morrison.

"Carlos helped us a lot. He played good D on the rookie and gave us a couple fast-break buckets," Wallace said. "He did what he's supposed to do when he comes in."

"He (Delfino) gave us some great minutes," Billups said. "He went to the basket aggressive, attacking, slashing - the things he does best."

Emeka Okafor collected 23 points and 12 rebounds and Brevin Knight added 16 points for the Bobcats, who shot 48 percent (38-of-79) but lost for the seventh time in nine games.

"I thought it was a heck of a game, but they're a well-balanced team that can hurt you from so many different spots," Bickerstaff said. "They seek out the mismatch and take advantage of it. We had point-blank shots and didn't make them."

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