for this game

Hamilton's 25 helps Pistons bounce back over Spurs

Mar 15, 2008 - 4:52 AM By Chuck Klonke PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) - Richard Hamilton came alive just in time.

Hamilton poured in 25 points and Tayshaun Prince added 17 as the Pistons posted an 84-80 victory over the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

After being held scoreless for nearly six minutes in the fourth quarter, the Pistons got two key baskets from Rasheed Wallace in the last 2:40 and seven points from Hamilton in the last 21 seconds to seal the season-series sweep.

Hamilton's performance was impressive after being held to just eight points in Wednesday's loss to Philadelphia.

"I'm never in a lull," Hamilton said. "When I don't shoot, people think that something's wrong. We've got a lot of All-Stars on this team. It doesn't take me shooting for us to win games."

Theo Ratliff's rebounding and defense also were a key factor during Detroit's 16-2 run which bridged the third and fourth quarters. Ratliff, who was signed by Detroit on March 4 after being released by Minnesota, finished with seven points and seven rebounds.

"Theo plays on both ends of the floor," Prince said. "He helped us rebound. He helped us protect the paint. That's what we need from him and he's been doing a great job of that."

San Antonio was without defensive specialist Bruce Bowen, who received a one-game suspension by the league for kicking New Orleans guard Chris Paul in Wednesday's game.

Detroit was leading, 69-57, before San Antonio went on a 13-0 run to regain control at 70-69 with 4:23 left in the fourth. Robert Horry started the surge with a 3-pointer, and Tony Parker scored the next 10 points.

Hamilton's jumper ended Detroit's scoring drought of five-plus minutes with 3:22 remaining.

"We were having trouble scoring and then (Hamilton) came off that one down-screen and hit that big shot," Saunders said. "It opened some room up, and (Wallace) made some big buckets."

Wallace's basket with 2:06 left put the Pistons ahead to stay and Hamilton completed a three-point play to put Detroit ahead, 80-76. Hamilton hit four more free throws to offset baskets from Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

"This is a good win, especially with the way we've been playing lately and giving that game up against Philly the last time, so this is a good win against a great basketball team," Prince said.

Parker scored 26 points and Duncan had 12 of his 20 in the fourth for the Spurs, who were held to just 11 points in third and fell to 0-2 on their three-game road swing.

"It's never good to lose, especially when we've lost three of our last four," Ginobili said. "We are upset but we have another game (Saturday) against a team that is really improving (Philadelphia), so it will be a great test."