NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Atlanta
(Tuesday, February 12th)
Final Score: Detroit 94, Atlanta 90
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Chauncey Billups scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, as the Pistons stretched their winning streak to nine games with a 94-90 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Rasheed Wallace had 21 points and five steals before fouling out for Detroit, which has won eight of the last nine meetings. Billups, who struggled by going 5-of-16 from the floor, also had eight assists, and at one juncture he had 10 straight Detroit points in the final quarter.
"Hey, we won one tonight and we worry about the next one," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "I think when you get a string like that, you just worry about the game you're playing. That's how you get the ability to maybe make a little bit of a run."
Josh Smith scored 30 points for Atlanta, which has lost three in a row. Al Horford ended with 12 points and 16 rebounds in a losing cause.
Joe Johnson went 1-of-2 at the foul line to give the Hawks an 82-79 lead with 6:03 remaining, but Billups then got hot, drilling a jumper and a pair of three-pointers, the last of which gave the Pistons the lead for good at 87-86 with 3:28 remaining.
After the Hawks missed two shots, Billups drove in for a layup with 2:25 to go for an 89-86 margin.
Smith missed a layup, and Horford was then called for a foul despite seemingly tying up Antonio McDyess for the ball with 1:38 left. McDyess made 1-of-2 at the foul line, but Smith came back with a three to get Atlanta within 90-89 with 43.4 seconds left.
Billups capped his incredible quarter by drilling a jumper from the right wing with 22.2 seconds remaining.
"He hit four big shots in the fourth quarter," Smith said of Billups. "That's what type of player he is. His nickname is Mr. Bigshot and in the clutch everybody on that team knows he's going to take that shot."
Smith went 1-of-2 at the line with 14.3 seconds left for a 92-90 margin, but Richard Hamilton sealed the victory with two free throws with 13.6 seconds left.
Johnson then air-balled a three-point try.
Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey each had 12 points for the Pistons, who shot 46.1 percent from the field.
"These are dangerous games, close to the All-Star break," Billups said. "Everybody is looking forward to the break and get some rest and go wherever they're going."
Josh Childress ended with 12 points and Johnson had 11 points and nine rebounds for Atlanta, which shot 42.7 percent.
Detroit led by as many as nine in the first quarter and was in front 25-18 going into the second. Arron Afflalo's layup made it 37-22 less than three minutes into the second quarter and it was 55-48 at the half.
The Pistons continued to lead throughout the first half of the third, but 11 straight points by the Hawks gave them a 64-62 edge on Horford's three-point play with 6:04 left in the period. Atlanta was on top 76-74 going into the fourth.
The Hawks now embark on a six-game road trip, starting Wednesday at Charlotte...Detroit hosts Indiana on Wednesday...Atlanta held a 47-34 advantage on the glass...Wallace was 7-of-10 from the field.
02/12 22:16:13 ET