Final - OT
  for this game

Wallace, Billups lift Pistons past Nuggets in overtime

Mar 27, 2007 - 6:07 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Temperamental Rasheed Wallace channeled his anger in the right direction.

Wallace scored 22 points, including an incredible buzzer-beating shot from beyond halfcourt, as the undermanned Detroit Pistons held on for a 113-109 overtime triumph over the Denver Nuggets.

Known most for his fiery play, Wallace made his return to the hardwood after serving an one-game suspension following his 18th technical in a loss at San Antonio on March 23.

On Monday, Wallace connected on 6-of-15 shots, including 2-of-6 from 3-point range, and made 8-of-9 free throws to registered back-to-back games with at least 20 points for the first time this season.

At the end of regulation, Tayshaun Prince tipped away the inbound pass intended for All-Star Carmelo Anthony to set up Wallace's game-tying 3-pointer off the glass from three-quarter court - 62 feet - at the buzzer to force the extra session.

"I got to believe that those shots will go in," Wallace said. "Honestly,that shot we shoot all the time - myself, Dale (Davis), Chris (Webber), Nazr (Mohammed) - if you look at us before a game we shoot that all the time before a game."

"It looked good the whole way as soon as I seen it about halfway in flight I was like, 'Oh that thing is on line,'" said Detroit guard Chauncey Billups, who scored a season-high 34 points to go with 10 assists. "That was crazy."

Denver center Marcus Camby, who made the inbounds pass, was just following directions from coach George Karl.

"They deflected the ball," Camby said. "(Karl) told me to get the ball to Melo and I forced it in there and if they got the ball it was going to be a long desperation shot."

In OT, Allen Iverson fed Nene for an alley-oop as Denver grabbed a 106-103 advantage with 1:14 remaining. But Wallace drained a tying 3-pointer from the top of the key 15 seconds later.

"Sheed had been grinding, trying to get his game going and he made that shot and then all of a sudden he woke up and made the other three and made some big free throws down the stretch," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.

After Prince picked off Iverson's pass, reserve Antonio McDyess made 1-of-2 free throws and Wallace added two more from the line to extend the lead to three points with 18 seconds left.

Denver had a chance to tie but Linas Kleiza misfired from the arc and Billups sank a pair of free throws to give Detroit a 111-106 cushion with just six seconds to go.

The Pistons were without Webber and All-Star Richard Hamilton due to the flu bug that has hit Detroit's locker room.

"We were very shorthanded but the guys who played, played great," Billups said. "We got a great effort from a lot of different players."

McDyess had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Prince chipped in 19, eight and three blocks for the Pistons, who shot 50 percent (40-of-79) from the floor.

Trailing, 62-50, in third period, Billups netted 11 points during an impressive 25-9 run as the Pistons opened a 75-71 edge with 10:53 left in the final quarter.

Camby collected 24 points and 13 rebounds, Nene added 21 and 17 and J.R. Smith also scored 21 off the bench for the Nuggets, who finished at 2-3 on their East Coast swing.

With the loss, Denver (36-33) fell 2 1/2 games behind the idle Los Angeles Lakers (38-32) in the Western Conference standings for sixth place with 13 contests remaining.