Billups, Pistons end Suns' seven-game streakMar 25, 2008 - 3:43 AM By Chuck Klonke PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) - Chauncey Billups had 32 points and Rasheed Wallace added 23 and nine rebounds as the Detroit Pistons got back on track with a 110-105 overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.
After Steve Nash hit a 3-pointer to put the Suns ahead 103-100, Billups drove for a layup and Wallace hit a jump shot with 1:28 left to put Detroit ahead by a point.
Two foul shots from Nash gave Phoenix a 105-104 lead with 1:12 left. But Billups went the length of the court and completed a three-point play to put Detroit ahead to stay.
"It was a big win for us," said Billups, who scored nine of Detroit's 14 points in OT. "We've struggled mightily the last two games. A lot of people have been saying that we don't have any big games left because we can't move up or down (in the conference). It was an opportunity for our young guys to step up, and they did just that."
Wallace agreed that it was an important win for Detroit, which reached 50 wins for the seventh consecutive season.
"We knew they were going to come out ready, especially after what we did to them in Phoenix," he said. "They were all riled up, but we persevered and came out with a victory."
The officiating upset the Suns even more than Monday's loss.
"I thought we played well enough to win in regulation, we just didn't get any calls," Nash said. "There was a stretch there in the fourth quarter where we missed two free throws, lost a couple of offensive rebounds and we didn't get any calls.
"It's tough to take when you feel like you played well enough to win, but you feel like the win was taken away from you."
The see-saw battle of the first half continued in the third quarter as both teams traded baskets for the first five minutes.
The Pistons ended the quarter on a 14-7 run to take a 76-73 lead into the fourth quarter. Billups had seven points in the run.
First-rounder Rodney Stuckey, who hit the final basket of the third quarter, started the fourth with a pair of buckets and Lindsey Hunter hit a 3-pointer to give Detroit an 83-75 lead with 9:50 remaining.
It was Hunter's first action since January 10.
Stuckey scored 13 points in a season-high 30 minutes in the absence of All-Star Richard Hamilton, who sat out with a hip injury.
"With Rip out, I had to step up," Stuckey said. "I've been shooting a lot more jumpers, and tonight it paid off. I was open and I was hitting them. Lindsey has been on me to take my shot if I'm open. Tonight, I was open, and it was falling."
"It was (Stuckey's) best game, easy," Billups said. "Not just because he hit shots, he was just mentally in tune to everything. I thought his defense was good. He got tough rebounds and he was very steady."
Raja Bell's shot from the arc tied the game at 87-87 and Shaquille O'Neal completed a three-point play during a 13-2 surge, giving Phoenix a 90-87 edge with 4:15 left.
A basket by Amare Stoudemire with 2:16 to go gave Phoenix a 94-89 lead, but Wallace nailed a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two. Billups then tied the game with a pair from the line.
"(Billups) is big all the time. That's what he does," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's one of the best point guards in the league. There's no doubt of that."
Wallace's turnaround jumper with a minute to play gave Detroit a 96-94 lead. But Stoudemire tied the game with two free throws six seconds later.
Detroit's Tayshaun Prince had a chance to win it in regulation but misfired as time expired.
Stoudemire carried the load with 33 points and Nash chipped in 23 for the Suns, who had their seven-game winning streak stopped.
DETROIT 110 FINAL IN 1ST OT
Mar 24 10:17 PM
DETROIT 96 END OF 4TH QTR GOING INTO OVERTIME
Mar 24 9:58 PM
DETROIT 76 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 24 9:22 PM
DETROIT 51 HALFTIME
Mar 24 8:41 PM
DETROIT 26 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 24 8:11 PM
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