Hamilton helps Pistons capture fifth straight winDec 6, 2007 - 5:31 AM By William Dunn PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) - Richard Hamilton scored 21 points to lead four starters in double figures as the Pistons posted a 91-76 triumph over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.
Chauncey Billups contributed 18 points and seven rebounds and Rasheed Wallace had 13 and 10 for Detroit, which extended its winning streak to a season-best five games.
"The Hornets' best offense is in transition," Billups said. "We started off the game shooting quick shots and we were missing. When you do that, you let them get off to the races."
It was the fourth game in five nights for the Pistons.
"When you play four games in five nights in four different cities, we were a little sluggish," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "But we gave a gutty performance and really a good defensive effort."
With the Hornets able to get into the bonus midway in the fourth quarter, Chris Paul and Bobby Jackson combined for 3-of-4 free throws to close the gap to 76-69 with 7:20 remaining.
But Billups and Hamilton responded as the duo led the charge during an 11-4 surge to help the Pistons create an 87-73 edge over a five-minute stretch to keep the Hornets at bay.
It was just Hamilton's fifth 20-point performance of the season.
Detroit shot a blistering 52 percent in the second but was only able to hold a slim 44-42 edge at the break.
Peja Stojakovic netted 19 points and Tyson Chandler had 17 and 22 boards - eight offensive - for New Orleans, which shot 34 percent (26-of-75) from the field.
The Hornets suffered a big loss on the defensive end when swingman Morris Peterson went to the locker room with a strained back.
"It was a huge loss for us," Paul said. "He was a big reason why we were able to jump out on them early. His defense on Hamilton in the first half really got us going early."
Jannero Pargo's 3-pointer just before the horn sounded brought the Hornets within 66-60 heading into the decisive quarter.
NEW ORLEANS 76 FINAL
Dec 5 10:24 PM
NEW ORLEANS 60 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 5 9:49 PM
NEW ORLEANS 42 HALFTIME
Dec 5 9:09 PM
NEW ORLEANS 26 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 5 8:37 PM
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