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Pistons run winning streak to 10 games

Jan 3, 2008 - 3:50 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Richard Hamilton had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead the Detroit Pistons to their 10th straight win, 106-93, over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups each added 16 points for Detroit, which had seven players in double figures and was coming off a sensational 15-2 record in December.

It's the Pistons' longest winning streak since an 11-game run in January 2006. Detroit scored the first 10 points of the second quarter to take a 36-27 lead, and ran off 10 consecutive points early in the final quarter to grab a commanding 94-74 margin.

With Hamilton scoring 13 of his 15 points in the second quarter, the Pistons led at the half, 57-47. The lead never dipped under double digits thereafter.

"I was just going out and making plays," Hamilton said. "We have a few young guys out there, and I was just trying to make plays and feed off their energy, try to make plays and trying to make it easy for them."

Hamilton had led Detroit in scoring is each of the last six victories, but he's never scored more than 24 points during the streak.

"We're not depending on him. Rip's getting good shots." Wallace said. "He's making his shots. It's no shots out of the ordinary that he would make. He's just making high percentages of his shots. It's not like we're sitting up here saying: 'Rip, you got to score 40, you got to score 40.'

"He's making his shots, that's all."

Washington's Andray Blatche committed a flagrant foul against Detroit's Jarvis Hayes during the early second-quarter run. It was Hayes' first game against the Wizards, for whom he played the first four seasons of his career.

Billups made two 3-pointers to start the third quarter to give Detroit (25-7) a 63-47 lead. The Piston's biggest lead came after Billups hit another 3-pointer with 5:05 to play in the third quarter for a 76-57 lead.

After trailing, 27-26, after one quarter, Detroit steady pulled away to improve to 17-2 against the East.

"The first quarter I thought went pretty well, and we didn't do much after that," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.

Pistons coach Flip Saunders was named NBA Coach of the Month for December, and before the game, he deflected credit for the honor. "It just shows your team is playing well," Saunders said.

Washington was led by Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Point guard Antonio Daniels returned after missing seven games with an MCL sprain of his right knee. He finished with 18 points.

"I felt OK," Daniels said. "It felt good to get some game action. You can practice all you want, but it's hard to simulate the emotion and adrenaline of a real game."

Daniels praised the play of the Pistons, who have the second-best record in the NBA.

"They're a great team and might be playing the best basketball in the league right now," Daniels said. "They make you pay if you don't do things the right way all the time."

Hamilton, who played three seasons for Washington, and is now in his sixth season with Detroit, passed Gene Shue for 10th place on the Pistons' all-time scoring list.

"He leads our team in scoring, but sometimes he only takes 10 shots," Saunders said.

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