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Billups leads balanced attack as Pistons crush Bucks

Feb 23, 2008 - 5:54 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- All-Star Chauncey Billups had 21 points and 12 assists as the Detroit Pistons posted an easy 127-100 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

Rasheed Wallace scored 17 points and fellow All-Star Richard Hamilton added 16 as the Pistons posted their first win since the All-Star break following two lackluster performances.

"It was a big game for us. Like I said (Wednesday) night (in Milwaukee) that fourth quarter we got back to playing how we play," Billups said. "We came in and played that way form the start of the game.

"It wasn't easy, they made a run, cut the lead and got the lead. It wasn't easy, but we stayed aggressive on both ends and opened the game up."

Detroit opened things up and took control for good in the second quarter when Wallace's putback sparked an impressive 29-6 surge to forge a 65-46 advantage at halftime.

"It was energy, I think it was really a team effort," said Pistons forward Amir Johnson, who had three points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks off the bench. "We went out there and played and played hard."

"I think it was the turning point for sure in the game," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "At halftime, they had 32 of their 65 points in transition and second-chance points. I think it was 16-2 second chance and that is all energy stuff."

The Pistons held 32-11 edge in the period.

"We did a nice job guarding in the half court but we were playing Russian roulette when you are giving up second-chance points and when we missed shots we went a little stagnant," Krystkowiak added.

It was important for Detroit to right itself as it prepares for a four-game road trip out West, starting with Sunday's battle against the Phoenix Suns.

"It's good to get back on track, especially with the West Coast trip starting," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "It's going to be a tough game against Phoenix, so we needed to be ready to play."

Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva both scored 18 points for the Bucks, who defeated the Pistons, 103-98, just two days ago at the Bradley Center.

"We know we lost at their house so we had to come out and set a statement and just blow them out the second half," Johnson said.