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Hamilton helps Detroit edge Wizards

Nov 18, 2006 - 4:00 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The struggling Detroit Pistons got a a total team effort against the Washington Wizards.

Richard Hamilton scored 27 points to lead six players in double figures as the Pistons survived a late charge for a 100-91 victory over the Wizards.

Temperamental Rasheed Wallace had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Tayshaun Prince also scored 20 points for Detroit, which had lost four of its last five overall and three straight against Washington.

"We're not used to that (losing)," Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said. "It was two games and it won't be our last two-game losing streak, but it seems more like five or six games when you aren't playing the way you are supposed to play."

"Baby steps. We took a couple small steps (Friday)," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "We're looking for five guys who will play hard and with enthusiasm. Those are the guys who are going to play."

In the fourth quarter, the Wizards pulled within two points on a pair of free throws by Caron Butler, but Wallace scored on an easy layup and found Lindsey Hunter, who converted a three-point play to help Detroit build a 94-87 lead with 2:41 remaining.

"The energy was there and a lot of that came from Lindsey, he really brought it on both ends of the floor," Prince said. "He was the player of the game for sure. He was huge for us."

Billups collected 12 points and 10 assists and Hunter chipped in 12 off the bench for Detroit, which shot 43 percent (38-of-88).

Prince scored on a hook and after Gilbert Arenas was called for traveling, Hamilton hit two foul shots with 50 seconds left to seal the victory.

The Pistons closed out the third quarter on an impressive 13-0 burst over the final 3 1/2 minutes to take a 74-61 advantage into the last period. Detroit outscored Washington, 31-15, in the quarter.

"We knew they were going on a run. Every good team goes on a run at home," Butler said. "We were just trying to sustain our focus, stay focused within that run. Unfortunately, they just kept making shots and a couple calls didn't go our way and they got the 'W.'"

Butler scored 24 points and Arenas added 20 for the Wizards, who shot 44 percent (35-of-78) and dropped their third straight game.

"They're at home, they were hungry, they had lost two in a row," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "We had lost two in a row. It was a matter of wills and who was going to come up with a big rebound, who was going to keep the concentration level up and finish the game,"

"Of course, they had some runs. They're at home, they should have some runs. But we're in the game. We missed an assignment, we missed a rebound, and they just carried it home."

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