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Lewis' buzzer-beater adds to Pistons' woes

Jan 22, 2008 - 4:40 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Rashard Lewis answered Chauncey Billups' improbable shot.

Lewis scored 16 points, including a jumper at the buzzer, to lift the Orlando Magic to a 102-100 victory over the struggling Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Known as "Mr. Big Shot" for his timely shooting, Billups tied the game with an incredible 35-foot 3-pointer from the right side with 3.6 seconds left in the fourth.

"I've got a bit of history with Detroit, and when Chauncey Billups raises up to shoot the ball late in the game, I know it's going to go in," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You just have to stop him from shooting the ball. That's the only way to stop him." It appeared that Billups traveled before hoisting the shot, but in the end, Lewis made that irrelevant.

Following a timeout, Lewis worked around a screen from Dwight Howard on the right side, pump-faked and launched a fadeaway jumper that rattled in at the buzzer.

"It was definitely one of the biggest shots of my career," Lewis said. "It was against one of the best teams, one that had won a championship. I knew their defense was going to foul me, didn't want me to get a free shot. So I took a couple of dribbles, took a pump-fake shot so I could get a good look at the basket."

Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points and Howard had 23 and eight rebounds as the Magic snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Pistons.

"I really liked the way our guys fought, the way they defended, the toughness they showed," Van Gundy said. "We needed all that, a good-shooting night, to win by two. That's what it takes to beat a team like the Pistons." The stunning turn of events had to be disheartening for Detroit, which has lost a season-high three straight.

"When you don't play well, it takes some time to get back to playing the way we were," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "But you can live with guys going out and competing. There are a few things we didn't execute well at times, but we'll clean those up."

Billups, who scored 18 points, did his best to end the skid. Detroit trailed, 98-93, with with 2:08 left, but the 11-year veteran scored the Pistons' last seven points.

Billups hit a pair of free throws to pull Detroit within 100-97, setting the stage for his biggest shot of the night.

After a timeout, Billups took the inbounds pass and worked around a screen before launching his deep 3-pointer that tied the game at 100-100.

"Well shoot, they tried to foul me three times. They were hacking me and grabbing my arm," Billups said. "So when I picked it up, I knew they had to call it. When they didn't and no one was in front of me, I was like, 'Well, I don't know where I am at, but I am putting this up.'"

"That's what he does. That's why they call him 'Mr. Big Shot,'" Lewis said. "We tried to get him to the free-throw line and to shoot two, but he pulled up and hit a big three."

Richard Hamilton led six players in double figures with 21 points for Pistons, who lost for the first time in 19 games when scoring over 100 points.

Unlike the first time these teams met in Detroit's 24-point blowout at Orlando in early November, the Magic's reserves came through at opportune times to open a 27-15 edge. Led by Keyon Dooling's 12 points, Orlando's bench committed no turnovers in a combined 74 minutes.

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