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Balanced Pistons knock off slumping Nuggets

Feb 26, 2008 - 6:43 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince provided a balanced offense as the Detroit Pistons recorded yet another road win.

Billups, Hamilton and Prince scored 20 points each to lead the Pistons to a 98-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

Detroit now has won nine of its last 11 games and improved to 20-10 on the road. The Pistons opened their current four-game road trip with arguably their most impressive effort of the season, a 116-86 rout of the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

"This has been a great trip so far," Billups said. "We've played some explosive teams and been able to get some wins. We feel we can win on anyone's court right now."

While Sunday's game was over early, the Pistons did not put away the Nuggets until the final seconds in this one.

"We knew this game would be tough," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "I thought we did a great job defensively and mixed it up nicely tonight."

J.R. Smith was fouled by Billups while attempting a 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds to play. Smith hit the first free throw to make it 95-93 but missed the second and intentionally misfired on his third attempt.

Both Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin got a hand on a tip-in attempt which would have tied the game, but the ball rolled off the rim, and the Pistons added three free throws from Billups to ice the game.

"Our offense has been great, but it all starts with our defense," Prince said. "We've been making our free throws and doing all the little things right."

Allen Iverson scored 28 points and Anthony added 23 for the Nuggets, who have lost three straight and four of their last five.

"The past couple of teams have just wanted it more than we have," Iverson said. "We need to hold ourselves accountable. They got in down in the tough situations, and we didn't."

Denver assistant coach Adrian Dantley served as head coach with George Karl missing the game with the flu. Karl became sick during Saturday night's return from Milwaukee, but the team said he should be back for Wednesday's game in Seattle.

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