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Maxiell's game-winning shot lifts Pistons past Sonics

Dec 18, 2006 - 3:44 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons received a huge boost from some unusual suspects.

Jason Maxiell hit the game-winning shot with six seconds left and Dale Davis provided a spark off the bench as the Pistons posted a 97-93 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.

Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and Chauncey Billups added 21 and eight assists for Detroit, which has won four of its last five games and four straight in the series.

The duo of Maxiell and Davis combined for 23 points and 25 rebounds to help ease the void left by Rasheed Wallace, who missed his second straight game with a right ankle injury.

"It is a good opportunity with Sheed (Wallace) not around and the bench to step up and that's what we did," Maxiell said. "It's only my second year and I have to sit back and learn more and Sheed has taught me a lot and opportunity came and I took advantage of it."

"Those two guys give us that edge in there that we've missed so many times this year," Billups said. "They block shots. They rebound. They're tough. They foul hard. They give you that edge, that swagger that we've always had here."

It was Maxiell's first double-double of the season - career highs of 17 points and 13 rebounds - and second of his career.

"He's going to play," Piston coach Flip Saunders said. "He's earned that just from how he has played. He's a high energy guy."

The game was tied at 79-79 before Billups drained consecutive 3-pointers, giving Detroit a six-point bulge with 8:51 remaining.

However, Mickael Gelabale tied the game once again on a hook with 59 seconds left. After trading points, Billups found Maxiell wide open on the baseline for the go-ahead 11-footer.

"(Billups) has the ball and I expected him to go to the rack, but he dished off into a spot where I can knock it down at," Maxiell said. "It's great in him having confidence in a second-year player to hit the game winner."

"It was kind of like a broken play, a little bit," Billups said. "I drove it and they came at me. Max has been playing great. He deserved a shot at that. As great as he played, he kept us in it."

Seattle had a chance to tie or win the game, but Carlos Delfino batted away the inbounds pass from Luke Ridnour and it hit a Seattle player before going out of bounds with two seconds left. Billups made two free throws to seal the win.

Tayshaun Prince had 11 points and eight rebounds for Detroit, which shot 39 percent (37-of-94) from the floor.

The Pistons dominated the glass, holding a commanding 54-32 advantage in rebounds with 26 coming on the offensive side.

"We just got absolutely manhandled on the boards," Seattle coach Bob Hill said. "We gave them 20 more shots at the basket. The last play didn't work, but the story of the game was rebounds."

Rashard Lewis recorded 25 points and 11 rebounds and Chris Wilcox scored 21 points for the SuperSonics, who shot 50 percent (37-of-74).








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