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Pistons roll to ninth straight win

Jan 1, 2008 - 12:21 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons will be sorry to see December end.

Richard Hamilton scored 22 points, leading the Pistons to their ninth consecutive victory with a 114-69 drubbing of the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

"Whatever he has been doing, he needs to keep doing it," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said of Hamilton, who made nine of his 10 shots from the floor against the Bucks and has scored at least 22 points in each of his last four games.

"He has been extremely efficient in everything that he has done. I think that us getting aggressive defensively has helped him out and gets the team's motor running."

Detroit, which boasts the NBA's second-best record at 24-7, finished December 15-2 and set a franchise mark for wins in the month. The Pistons' record for wins in any month is 16.

Michael Redd scored 18 points and Yi Jianlian added 12 for the Bucks, who ended the calendar year with four straight losses.

Milwaukee, which is in last place in the Central Division, dropped to 2-15 on the road.

"We're not mentally ready to come out of the locker room and take care of the ball and do all the stuff," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "The act is getting a little bit old right now. Everybody is going to have to pick it up themselves. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us right now."

Tayshaun Prince scored 15 points and Jarvis Hayes added 14 off the bench for the Pistons, who posted their most lopsided victory of the season.

Chauncey Billups collected 13 points and 12 assists for Detroit, which has won five straight against Milwaukee.

Antonio McDyess, who also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, fed Billups for a breakaway dunk that gave Detroit a 76-50 lead with 4:23 left in the third quarter.

Hamilton's field goal, followed by Rasheed Wallace's 3-pointer, pushed the Pistons' advantage to 86-55 with 44.4 seconds left in the period. The final score represented the Pistons' biggest lead.

"We're playing great," Billups said. "We're really locked in offensively. We are really moving the ball. Most nights, we're going to have so many advantages on the offensive end."

Detroit never trailed, building a 56-37 halftime lead en route to its 13th win in 15 home games this season.

The Pistons substituted liberally, using reserves for most of the fourth quarter. Hayes scored nine points in the opening half.

"You need everyone to have the same goal," Saunders said. "If any has any individual goals, then too much depth can be a detriment because they aren't willing to sacrifice.

But with this team, I don't think that is a problem because we have good veteran leadership that has been successful and we have young guys that are willing to learn."

Detroit's bench scored 47 points.

"Our bench is young, but those guys are really taking advantage of their minutes," Billups said. "They're just so aggressive and hungry out there when they get their chances."

All nine Pistons who played in the first half got into the scoring column.

Hamilton scored seven points in the first period, helping Detroit open a 28-15 lead.

The Pistons' previous most lopsided win this season was a 109-74 triumph over Cleveland on November 28.

Milwaukee's Mo Williams missed his first game of the season. The guard has Achilles tendinitis, the team said.

"Every player on this team, including myself, needs to have a better mind-set before games, but it just kind of felt like we didn't come in here with the confidence to win a basketball game," Bucks center Andrew Bogut said.

"No team can do that. I mean, it's getting ridiculous. It's up to the players now to come out and play hard."

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