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Hamilton, Billups help Pistons capture first win

Nov 4, 2006 - 3:23 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Richard Hamilton enjoys making the trip to Beantown.

Hamilton scored 27 points and Chauncey Billups added 20 and 11 assists as the Detroit Pistons used a fourth-quarter surge en route to a 101-88 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Last season, the Pistons won all three games vs. the Celtics, including a thrilling 82-81 triumph here that ended on a jumper by Hamilton from the right wing as time expired.

On Friday, the 6-6 guard made 10-of-18 shots, including a half-court buzzer-beater to end the first half and helped close Detroit's deficit to one point. He also grabbed five rebounds and collected four steals.

"We wanted to make the easy play. If you have a wide open shot then take it," Hamilton said. "Don't try to make the Magic Johnson pass and things like that, just go out there and play basketball. We did a great job with it."

The Celtics bridged an 11-2 surge over the third and fourth quarters as they built a 76-75 advantage with 9:48 remaining. Al Jefferson scored four of his 11 points in the run.

However, Detroit responded behind a commanding 19-5 burst over the next 8:17 to create a 13-point cushion and never looked back thereafter. The defense also held Boston superstar Paul Pierce scoreless in the final period.

"They had to get more possessions than us, more shots at the rim," Pierce said. "You know ,I thought we played well in spurts. They executed down the stretch and that's because they are a veteran team and they understand what they are trying to do when they're out there. That's something we are trying to learn."

Temperamental Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace kept his attitude in check after getting tossed in Wednesday's season-opening defeat and collected 18 points and nine rebounds.

"I feel out of rhythm a little bit but I don't worry about offense," Wallace said. "I don't worry about that at all. That is what I was saying to a couple of the coaches, it was just my defensive rhythm that I was worried about that first game, but out there tonight, it was a little better."

Nazr Mohammed had 14 points and eight rebounds and Tayshaun Prince scored 12 points for Detroit, which shot 42 percent (37-of-88) and committed only six turnovers.

"I know we did a pretty nice job of taking care of the basketball. We harp on that not to beat ourselves and that really kept us in the game," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.

Pierce scored 22 points and Wally Szczerbiak chipped in 18 for the Celtics, who shot 45 percent (34-of-75).

"I thought we attacked them early. I thought we really attacked them in the first half and we should've had a bigger lead because of that and we just made so many silly plays," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.

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