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Old 11-12-2005, 10:30 AM   #12
Joe G
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Pistons 84, Trail Blazers 81 ....6 and Zero BABY!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!

PORTLAND, Ore. - Chauncey Billups kept the Detroit Pistons hanging around. When Rasheed Wallace got in the act, his former team wilted.

Billups had 21 points and 10 assists and the Pistons beat the Portland Trail Blazers 84-81 on Friday night.

Billups hit two free throws with 9.3 seconds left and Zach Randolph missed a 3-pointer as the Pistons survived a tough challenge from the rebuilding Blazers.

Wallace scored 13 points in his third trip to Portland since his contentious stint with the Blazers ended two years ago. Wallace overcame a slow start, contributing to the victory with tenacious defense and clutch shooting in the fourth quarter.

``No matter how a game is going, Sheed is going to hit big shots,'' Billups said. ``He's so gutsy. And I know for him to hit them in this building is better than any other place. We wanted to get this win for him.''

The Pistons (6-0) are the only undefeated team in the NBA and are off to their best start since going 8-0 in 1988-89 en route to the first of consecutive NBA championships.

Darius Miles had 23 points and Zach Randolph added 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who lost at home for the first time this season.

Detroit, coming off a hard-fought 111-104 win over Phoenix on Thursday night, clamped down on Miles and Randolph in the final quarter, holding Miles scoreless and Randolph to two points.

``We didn't have a lot of energy (early on),'' Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. ``We got more energy in the fourth quarter and defense kept us in the game.''

Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton each had 14 points for the Pistons, who had all five starters in double figures.

The Blazers shot 55 percent in the first half, outplaying the Pistons to lead by as many as 10 points. But they couldn't keep the lead, as mistakes began to add up late.

``If you have 16 turnovers, miss seven free throws and don't execute down the stretch, you don't beat a good team like the Pistons,'' coach Nate McMillan said.

Wallace, playing with four fouls, hit two 3-pointers, drew a charge and blocked a shot as the Pistons went up 80-72 with just over 4 minutes left.

But Juan Dixon converted a three-point play and Sebastian Telfair's layup made it 82-79.

Dixon hit two free throws at 17.3 to cut the lead to one.

The second-youngest team in the NBA, the Blazers won their first two home games, over Atlanta and New York.

``They made it tough on us,'' Billups said. ``Our veteran experience took over and prevailed in the end.''

Randolph, who replaced Wallace at power forward for the Blazers, had 29 points and 12 rebounds against New York on Wednesday night.

Billups, who made eight of nine free throws, was coming off a 27-point, 11-assist performance against Phoenix.

Theo Ratliff had 14 rebounds for Portland.

GO PISTONS!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SIX AND ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!
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