Atlanta at Detroit

Three Pistons finish with double-doubles in win over Hawks

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons are slowly adapting to playing without Ben Wallace in the middle.

Chauncey Billups had 24 points and 10 assists and Detroit pulled down a season-high 18 offensive rebounds in a 103-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Wallace signed with Chicago in the offseason and the Pistons have struggled to rebound without him. But they were encouraged by their performance against the Hawks.

"That was huge," Billups said. "That's all about effort and energy, and that's what we weren't getting early in the season."

Billups was one of three Pistons with a double-double. Rasheed Wallace finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Tayshaun Prince had 15 points and 11 boards in Detroit's fourth straight victory.

"I was missing some easy shots, so I figured I better get something off the glass," Prince said. "We always struggle against that team, because they have so many athletic players."

The Hawks came in with a three-game losing streak and were missing Marvin Williams (hand) and Josh Childress (foot), but still gave the Pistons a tough night.

"We're short-handed -- we have to get Williams and Childress back in there," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "Our guys are playing too many minutes, and we've had four carbon-copy games. We come down the stretch, and we can't rebound the ball. That just takes the spark out of your defense."

The Pistons entered the fourth quarter with a one-point lead, but missed their first five shots. The Hawks only managed three free throws, though, keeping the game tight.

Detroit increased its advantage by dominating the offensive boards, getting four putback baskets -- two each by Prince and Antonio McDyess -- in a five-minute span.

"Dice was great for us tonight," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "He's getting his legs back and he had some big plays."

The Pistons led 91-85 with 2:50 to go, and held on through a foul-filled finish.

"I thought we were still going to be here for Thanksgiving dinner," Saunders joked.

Along with the rebounding edge, the Pistons also forced 18 turnovers while only committing eight.

"We're at our best when we are forcing turnovers," Billups said. "That makes the game easier, because it takes the pressure off your halfcourt offense."

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 25 points and rookie Shelden Williams added a career-best 20.

"This was a tough loss," Johnson said. "We just aren't following the game plan. We aren't boxing out, and we haven't been able to come up with the big rebounds. That has hurt us the last few games."

Thanks to an early 14-3 run, Atlanta led for most of the first half, including a 49-45 lead at the break. The Pistons shot 36 percent in the half, and only stayed close because of 10 offensive rebounds and 10 Atlanta turnovers.

Atlanta went ahead by 11 by scoring the first seven points of the third quarter, including five from Johnson.

The Hawks, though, kept turning the ball over, and the Pistons came back to tie it at 63.

Detroit finished the period with a 73-72 lead. The Hawks had seven turnovers in the quarter -- three by Johnson.

Notes

  • Wednesday was the first of Atlanta's two holiday-week visits to Detroit -- the Hawks also play at the Palace on Dec. 23.
  • Atlanta hit six of its first eight 3-point attempts.
  • Pistons starting center Nazr Mohammed fouled out despite playing just 16 minutes.
  • Williams had never scored more than eight points in his monthlong NBA career.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Chauncey Billups rises to the occasion (24 points, 10 assists) as Detroit wins again.  (Getty Images)
Chauncey Billups rises to the occasion (24 points, 10 assists) as Detroit wins again. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Atlanta (4-5) 2623232698
Detroit (7-5) «26192830103
ATL:J. Johnson 25 Pts
ATL:S. Williams 13 Reb
ATL:J. Smith 5 Ast
DET:C. Billups 24 Pts
DET:R. Wallace 13 Reb
DET:C. Billups 10 Ast
Players of the Game
DetroitAtlanta

C. Billups

S. Williams
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2411020130
Atlanta
S. Williams, PF407-126-6130320
J. Smith, SF363-122-27538
J. Johnson, SG358-136-842225
Z. Pachulia, C332-108-970312
S. Claxton, PG191-51-22423
T. Lue, PG294-96-843416
S. Stoudamire, SG173-50-03017
C. Bozeman, SG110-10-01010
M. Freije, SF93-30-01127
L. Wright, C70-20-01130
S. Jones, PF50-00-00020
M. Williams, FDid Not Play
R. Ivey, PGDid Not Play
J. Childress, SGDid Not Play
E. Batista, PFDid Not Play
Totals 31-7229-3543162698
 43.1%82.9% 
Detroit
C. Billups, PG406-1310-12110224
R. Wallace, PF406-140-0131414
T. Prince, SF376-152-2110115
R. Hamilton, SG355-165-631215
N. Mohammed, C164-63-530611
A. McDyess, PF284-80-08048
C. Delfino, PG151-34-45036
R. Murray, SG122-80-01115
D. Davis, PF91-20-03102
L. Hunter, SG91-30-00203
R. Dupree, SFDid Not Play
A. Johnson, PFDid Not Play
J. Maxiell, PFDid Not Play
W. Blalock, PGDid Not Play
Totals 36-8824-29481623103
 40.9%82.8% 
Other Games
Bos 83 Final
Char 92
Cle 87 Final
Tor 95
Ind 91 Final
Orl 96
Mia 86 Final
SA 106
Phi 94 Final
Mil 98
NY 89 Final
Min 107
Wash 82 Final
Hou 86
NO 83 Final
Pho 92
NJ 97 Final
Port 100
Utah 110 Final
Sac 101
Den 115 Final
GS 112
Sea 95 Final
LAC 85