NBA Game Summary - Portland at Detroit
(Friday, February 8th)
Final Score: Detroit 91, Portland 82
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Chauncey Billups scored all 17 of his points in the first quarter as the Detroit Pistons amassed a huge first half lead and downed the Portland Trail Blazers, 91-82, at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Rodney Stuckey added 13 points for Detroit, which ran its winning streak to seven. Richard Hamilton and Amir Johnson each added 10 points for the Pistons, while Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace contributed nine points apiece.
LaMarcus Aldridge posted a game-high 22 points for the Blazers, but Jarret Jack was the only other Portland player to reach double figures, netting 10 points. The Blazers have lost three of their last five contests.
Portland was without All-Star Brandon Roy, who did not travel with the team to Detroit after a death in his family. Roy is expected to rejoin the team in Indianapolis for Saturday's contest against the Pacers.
"You don't want to think one player makes that much difference but they manhandled us," said Portland head coach Nate MacMillan. "They were more aggressive and physical and forced us into some turnovers. At times we got outhustled. There's no excuse to come out without a sense of urgency. Brandon's a big part of this team but not the entire team."
The Blazers stayed close for most of the opening quarter, but after McDyess hit a turnaround jumper with 4:15 left in the frame to give the Pistons a 13-11 lead, Detroit never looked back.
The Pistons extended their lead to eight on a three from Billups that made the score 23-15, and a tip-in from Johnson with 23 seconds remaining gave Detroit at 27-18 lead after 12 minutes.
"Chauncey was aggressive in the first quarter and set the tone offensively and defensively," MacMillan said. "They pretty much had control of the game from the start. Their bench came in and were the aggressors. We played their bench most of the night. Usually we get more from our bench."
Detroit then ran off the first 10 points of the second quarter to extend the lead to 19 just over two minutes into the frame. A layup from Jack and a hook shot from Aldridge made the score 37-22, but that was as close as Portland would get for the rest of the half.
Johnson and Stuckey paced a 15-5 run over the next five minutes, with Stuckey finding Johnson for a pair of dunks that capped off the run to give Detroit a 25 point lead.
"We are kind of different from the starting five," Stuckey said. "When the young guys get in, we want to make some plays."
The lead grew to as many as 27 before the half as the Pistons outscored the Blazers 32-17 in the frame and led 59-35 at the break.
Portland matched Detroit basket-for-basket in the third quarter, but didn't manage to close the gap to fewer than 20 points as Detroit led, 81-57, entering the final stanza.
The Blazers mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter against Detroit's reserves, closing within 11 on Raef LaFrentz's three-point play with 1:17 left.
After a Detroit turnover, Taurean Green drove into the lane and hit a layup that cut the lead to nine, 91-82. Detroit turned the ball over on its next posession, but LaFrentz couldn't connect on a three from the left corner in the final 20 seconds as the Pistons ran out the clock en route to improving to 19-4 at home this season.
"If the game was tight, I'm sure that I would have played a lot more, stayed aggressive and kept doing what I was doing, but when we can get out to a lead like that and the young guys can come in and increase the lead, then I'd rather just sit there and watch that," Billups said. "There will be plenty of times when there will be tight games and I can continue to have a big night."
Billups also recorded five assists as the Pistons dished out 26 assists on their 36 field goals...The Pistons look to finish their five-game homestand undefeated when they host Charlotte Sunday...The game was the start of a four- game road swing for the Blazers, the trip continues with visits to Indiana, Houston and Dallas before the All-Star break.
02/08 23:39:21 ET