Billups' late free throws lift Pistons past NetsDec 27, 2006 - 5:01 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups got the call Vince Carter was looking for.
Billups sank two free throws with 7.2 seconds remaining as the Detroit Pistons posted a 92-91 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton scored 21 points apiece to pace the Pistons, who proved to be just a bit tougher down the stretch en route to running their winning streak to five games.
Enduring a miserable 1-of-10 shooting performance, Billups drove the length of the floor off a miss by Jason Kidd and received a bump from Carter, leading to the go-ahead free throws.
Following a timeout, the Nets went to Carter, who collided with Wallace just below the foul line. Wallace fell to the floor, but no call was made and Carter missed a jumper that caromed over the backboard with 1.5 seconds left.
"Of course you want all the calls," Carter said. "It's just tough because you're trying to be aggressive, you're trying to give yourself a chance to win because we didn't play well in the first quarter, we fought to get back in the game. It's unfortunate."
After the Pistons inbounded the ball and ran out the clock, Nets coach Lawrence Frank was screaming in the direction of official Tom Washington as the teams left the floor.
"I think it was blatantly obvious what we just saw," Frank said. "We saw it on the tape afterward. But that's how the game works. He ain't gonna change it.
"It's obviously a foul. I'm sure if it was looked over again, they'd say it was a foul but the call wasn't made. It's a shame, it's a real shame. Because on the other end, Billups seeks Vince out, that was called a foul. This one, obviously, Prince falls down, Rasheed is forced into a scramble situation. There was obvious contact. But the call wasn't made so that's how it goes."
Kidd was irate at the outcome.
"For Tom to miss that call or say that he didn't see it, or for any of those guys," Kidd said. "You go with the Three Blind Mice and it's just sad that Tom just (messed) up that game for us."
Wallace was offering no apologies for the call that wasn't made.
"That could have gone either way," Wallace said. "He put his head down, and I tried to take the charge. It was a no-call. I'll buy that for a dollar."
Billups defended Washington's judgment.
"That was a no-call - that wasn't nothing. Sheed jumped in there and stood his position," Billups said.
Carter scored 28 points and Richard Jefferson 18 for the Nets, who have lost three straight and five of their last seven games.
The Nets did receive an encouraging performance from Jason Collins, who scored a season-high 13 points. He has shifted from power forward to center with Nenad Krstic out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.
NEW JERSEY 91
DETROIT 92 FINAL
Dec 26 10:08 PM
NEW JERSEY 68
DETROIT 67 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 26 9:26 PM
NEW JERSEY 39
DETROIT 47 HALFTIME
Dec 26 8:39 PM
NEW JERSEY 20
DETROIT 31 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 26 8:06 PM
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