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Detroit at New Jersey

Pistons use hot-shooting third quarter to take down Nets

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Detroit Pistons aren't waiting for the fourth quarter to put teams away. They're doing it in the third.

Richard Hamilton scored 22 points and the Pistons shot 78 percent in the third quarter in beating the New Jersey Nets 101-83 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.

"The third quarter is always an important quarter and we always want to play well in the third quarter," Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups said. "For any team, it's important to play well then. We knew what we had to do after halftime."

Billups scored eight of his 17 points and handed out four of his 10 assists in the quarter in helping the Pistons turn a one-point halftime lead into a 14-point laugher.

Hamilton was just as important, hitting all five of his shots as the Pistons connected on 14 of 18 from the field.

"I think we got into a good rhythm in the third quarter," Hamilton said. "Chauncey did a good job of getting us the ball and moving the ball around. We got some good shots, some easy baskets and we just caught a good rhythm. We knocked them down."

This marked the third straight game Detroit came out after halftime and took command. They outscored Houston 27-16 on Sunday in a 94-82 win and outscored Memphis 26-16 on Friday in a 94-67 blowout. The Pistons outscored New Jersey 31-18 on Wednesday night in the third quarter.

"We've always been a good third-quarter team," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "We made some adjustments at halftime to gain control in that third quarter. We shot the ball very well in that quarter and once we took control, we were able to bring it home."

Antonio McDyess had 15 points and nine rebounds for Detroit, which has won 13 of 15. Rasheed Wallace added 13 points for the Pistons, who were 24-of-37 from the field in the second half.

It marked the seventh straight game the Pistons have held their opponent under 90 points.

"We got to keep rolling now," Wallace said after the Pistons played for the first time in three days. "We can't let up. We played pretty good tonight and I think some of us were anxious to play again because we had been playing good."

Vince Carter led the Nets with 21 points, only six in the second half when New Jersey was limited to 39 points on 12-of-32 shooting. Jason Kidd had a game-high 13 assists but missed all eight of his shots from the field. Richard Jefferson added 18 points.

"They turned it up and we didn't match the intensity and level they brought in the second half," said Carter, who was limited to five shots in the second half. "They just made it tough for us."

The Pistons, who hit their first six shots of the game, came out even hotter in the second half, making their first seven.

Unlike the first half when they struggled after the fast start, the Pistons just kept pouring it on in the third quarter.

After the teams exchanged two baskets at the start of the half, Billups hit a layup to ignite an 11-0 run that featured three baskets by Wallace, the last a rim-hanging dunk on a fast break.

Hamilton, who also had a basket in the run, added three sweet jumpers and a layup in pushing the lead to as many as 16 points in the quarter.

New Jersey never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

The Pistons, who shot nearly 65 percent in the second half, struggled after their opening flurry. However, their defense was the key to getting back into the game just before halftime.

Down 42-36, Billups hit two of three free throws to spark a 9-2 run in the closing minutes of the half. Hamilton added a jumper, Jason Maxiell had a free throw and McDyess added two more after getting the rebound of Maxiell's second miss.

A driving layup by Billups with 4.5 seconds left gave Detroit the lead for good.

"That gave them the momentum to come back and take the lead," Kidd said. "But we still felt it was anybody's game if we could keep executing and getting the ball inside. We got wide-open looks, they just didn't go down for us."

Notes

  • Kidd has 8,972 career assists, moving into sixth place on the NBA's all-time list ahead of longtime friend Gary Payton (8,966).
  • The best shooting quarter this season in the NBA was Milwaukee's 10-of-11 third quarter (90.9 percent) against Detroit on Dec. 1.
  • The Nets had 17 turnovers, seven by Jefferson.
  • Detroit beat New Jersey 118-95 on Dec. 2.
  • The Pistons are 13-2 against the Eastern Conference.
  • New Jersey is 6-11 at home.
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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Jason Maxiell and the Pistons mean business with their efficient win in New Jersey.  (Getty Images)
Jason Maxiell and the Pistons mean business with their efficient win in New Jersey. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Detroit (21-7) «26193125101
New Jersey (12-16) 2420182183
DET:R. Hamilton 22 Pts
DET:A. McDyess 9 Reb
DET:C. Billups 10 Ast
NJ:V. Carter 21 Pts
NJ:J. Boone 8 Reb
NJ:J. Kidd 13 Ast
Players of the Game
New JerseyDetroit

V. Carter

R. Hamilton
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
21352224

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Detroit
A. McDyess, PF346-93-592215
R. Hamilton, SG3410-162-224322
R. Wallace, PF336-110-061213
T. Prince, SF323-80-04626
C. Billups, PG316-93-4010117
J. Maxiell, PF253-44-631110
J. Hayes, SF212-70-03035
R. Stuckey, SG113-71-11307
A. Afflalo, SG91-30-02022
L. Hunter, SG61-30-00002
P. Brezec, C21-10-00012
A. Johnson, SF20-00-00000
R. Murray, PGDid Not Play
C. Samb, CDid Not Play
W. Herrmann, SFDid Not Play
Totals 42-7813-18302717101
 53.8%72.2% 
New Jersey
R. Jefferson, SF395-118-833218
V. Carter, SG388-113-335221
J. Kidd, PG360-82-251302
S. Williams, PF315-91-250411
J. Boone, PF296-100-480412
B. Nachbar, SF214-84-440013
M. Allen, PF162-60-02024
M. Williams, PG130-22-24212
J. Collins, C120-00-01020
D. Armstrong, PG30-00-00000
B. Thomas, SG20-00-00000
J. Magloire, CDid Not Play
A. Wright, SFDid Not Play
N. Krstic, CDid Not Play
Totals 30-6520-2535231783
 46.2%80.0% 
Other Games
Mia 85 Final
Phi 96
Ind 95 Final
Atl 107
NY 96 Final
Orl 110
Wash 108 Final
Char 104
NO 116 Final
Mem 98
Chi 79 Final
SA 94
Mil 105 Final
Den 125
Dal 90 Final
Utah 99
Bos 89 Final
Sac 69
Min 101 Final
GS 105