NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Denver
(Monday, February 25th)
Final Score: Detroit 98, Denver 93
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Chauncey Billups scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and hit some big shots down the stretch in Detroit's 98-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Billups, who made all seven of his foul shots, also had eight assists for the Pistons, who have won three in a row and 13 of 15 games. Tayshaun Prince added 20 points and nine assists, while Richard Hamilton totaled 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Pistons are off to a 2-0 start on their four-game road trip following Sunday's 116-86 thrashing of the Phoenix Suns. Games at Utah and versus the Clippers will finish the swing.
"It's been a great trip so far," Billups said. "We've beaten two playoff teams, two explosive teams. We knew it was going to be tough tonight. We just wanted to keep it close and control the tempo, and make them play defense."
Antonio McDyess chipped in 16 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit, which beat Denver for the 13th time in the last 16 meetings.
"To hold a team like that to 93 points in their building is pretty good," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "I told our staff coming in that we needed to make plays tonight, and I thought we did."
Allen Iverson had 28 points and seven assists for Denver, which lost for just the second time in its last 12 home games. Carmelo Anthony finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who have lost three in a row overall - equaling a season-high.
J.R. Smith banged in a three-pointer to get Denver within 86-85 with 3:43 remaining, but Billups responded with a jumper, and after Marcus Camby missed for the Nuggets, McDyess' jumper moved the lead to five points.
After Anthony made a foul shot, Billups stepped up and drilled a three with 1:50 left for a 93-86 cushion.
Iverson's three-pointer and a 1-for-2 performance from him at the foul line with 41.6 seconds left had Denver within 95-92.
Rasheed Wallace missed a three-pointer for Detroit at the other end, and Billups almost turned into the goat of the game by fouling Smith on a three- point try with 6.5 seconds left. Smith made the first try, but missed the next two.
Kenyon Martin's tip-in try was off the mark for Denver, and Billups sank three foul shots over the final 1.2 seconds.
"We can win any game if we play well. We just didn't make the plays, "Smith said.
Wallace ended with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Smith had 13 points and Camby totaled 11 rebounds for Denver, which shot 36 percent from the field.
Detroit led 30-28 after the first quarter and it remained tight throughout the second with the teams tied at 49 at the half. The stalemate continued at 73-73 going into the fourth.
The teams combined to shoot 12-of-42 from three-point range...Iverson went 12-of-13 at the foul line...Nuggets coach George Karl missed the game because of the stomach flu. Adrian Dantley coached in his place.
02/26 00:11:39 ET