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Hamilton, Pistons improve to 3-0 against Nets

Feb 1, 2007 - 5:36 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons must know what they are doing when it comes to the New Jersey Nets.

Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and Chauncey Billups added 18 as the Pistons won their fourth straight game, 113-89, over the Nets.

The win helped Detroit improve to 34-13 against New Jersey since the 1994-95 campaign, sweeping the season series three times during that stretch.

The Pistons can complete their season series sweep of the Nets with a triumph at the Palace of Auburn Hills on March 30.

Chris Webber scored 17 points and reserve Jason Maxiell chipped in 16 for the Pistons, who made their first 27 free throws to establish a franchise record.

"We were just attacking the basket, getting in the bonus," Billups said. "When you have a team that run like New Jersey, if you can get on the free-throw line, it slows the game down and you have a better chance to win."

"We didn't want to settle for jump shots, we wanted to try and get to the basket and make easy plays and we did that," Hamilton said.

Detroit's previous high for consecutive foul shots made was 26, set against the Kansas City Kings on March 23, 1976.

Nets superstar Vince Carter was held to just two points in the first half for only the second time his career. He finished with 11 points.

"We just changed up defenses on him (Carter) a little bit," Billups said. "Make him take tough shots and he made some tough shots but he didnt really get it going too much."

In the second quarter, Hamilton's short jumper sparked an impressive 15-6 run as Detroit pushed its advantage to 52-39 with 5 1/2 minutes left.

The Pistons broke open the game in the third period, taking an 87-64 lead after Webber fed Tayshaun Prince, who scored two of his 13 points on a one-handed jam at the 3:10 mark in the third quarter.

"(Webber's) been great for us," Hamilton said. "The thing about Chris is he knows how to play. He brings so much to our team; he can score, he can pass, so it's a great pick for us. We're just happy to have him here."

With Detroit starter Rasheed Wallace struggling, Maxiell stepped in and played huge off the bench.

"He (Maxiell) plays with a lot of energy, he's young, he's got great legs," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "He can jump, rebound everything, block shots. He can spark us and that's what we need him for. Every time we put him in there we're looking for that spark and he never fails us."

Mikki Moore scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half and Jason Kidd added 15 for the Nets, who shot 40 percent (33-of-81) from the floor and fell to 0-3 against the Pistons this season.

"It was just one of those nights were we didn't have a whole lot," New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank said. "It's going to be hard for us to win games giving up 30-plus points in three of the four quarters, basically just trying to match them point for point."

"Outside of Mikki's first-quarter performance, for us it was a bad game," Frank added.

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