Hamilton, Pistons continue to roll through the Western ConferenceMar 15, 2007 - 5:45 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Richard Hamilton and the Detroit Pistons are sweeping through Western Conference venues.
Hamilton scored 21 points and Tayshaun Prince added 15 as the Pistons won their fourth straight game, an 87-75 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
As the only team from the East with a winning road record at 22-10, Detroit improved to 4-0 on its Western road trip with back-to-back wins. It defeated Seattle, 101-97, on Tuesday.
"We still can play a lot better," Hamilton said. "I think we have been playing so well because we let those two at home slip away. It's important for us to come out and take care of business."
One night later, Hamilton sparked the Pistons, shooting 9-of-18 from the field, mostly on deceptive drives to the basket and mid-range jumpers. Prince was 7-of-12 from the floor, nailing his only 3-pointer, for Detroit, which shot 51 percent (38-of-74).
"I just going out there and trying to have fun and be aggressive," Hamilton said. "Trying to feed off my teammates and do whatever they needed me to do tonight. I tried to take my time and get wide-open looks."
In his second game back from suspension, Rasheed Wallace struggled, shooting 4-of-10 from the field, including missing all three of his shots from the arc. All-Star Chauncey Billups also was off, scoring just nine points on 4-of-9 shooting.
But the Pistons were able to use a decisive fourth-quarter run to overcome sluggish play by their stars. Leading by six points with just under 10:31 left, Detroit reeled off nine straight points to make it 77-62 with 7:59 remaining. The Pistons were never challenged again.
"We kind of took our foot off the gas pedal," Hamilton said. "I thought we made our little runs and then we would let them back in the game. So then we had to take our time and get our lead back."
With the win, Detroit remained two games ahead of surging Cleveland, which has won seven straight games. However, Hamilton said his squad is only worried about themselves.
"We're just playing Piston basketball and just playing our game," Hamilton said. "Our job is to win basketball games."
Zach Randolph had 21 points and 11 rebounds and rookie LaMarcus Aldridge collected 14 and 10 for the Trail Blazers, who shot just 39 percent (28-of-71) to absorb their fourth loss in their last five games.
"That's a championship team over there (Pistons)," Randolph said. "They play well together. We hung in there but we got to get out right from the start. It's tough to start behind. You got to come out sharp because that's what it takes against a team like that."
PORTLAND 75 FINAL
Mar 15 12:14 AM
PORTLAND 58 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 14 11:42 PM
PORTLAND 37 HALFTIME
Mar 14 11:03 PM
PORTLAND 14 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 14 10:34 PM
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