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Hamilton scores 20 as Pistons win defensive struggle

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Once Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton got
Michael Redd contained, the Detroit Pistons had no more trouble
with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Hamilton scored 20 points, and the Pistons held Milwaukee
scoreless for more than four minutes late in their 85-76 victory
over the Bucks on Saturday night.

Tayshaun Prince and Billups each scored 17 for Detroit, which
improved to an NBA-best 10-2 a night after a double-overtime loss
to Washington.

Redd scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, including 16
in an eight-minute span that pulled the Bucks within 73-72 with
5:06 left.

That's when Billups and Hamilton started hounding the Milwaukee
guard, and Redd missed his final three shots. Without their leading
scorer making shots, the Bucks didn't score again until the final
minute, when the game already had been decided

"I just didn't want to let him run free," Billups said. "He's
a tough cover. Every time he puts that ball, he's got a chance to
make that shot. He missed some shots. It was good D, but he missed
some shots."

The Bucks missed 13 of 18 shots in the fourth quarter.

"They pretty much pushed up the pressure and forced us to shoot
at the end of the shot clock," said Milwaukee's Bobby Simmons, who
missed eight of 11 shots in the game, including both of his
fourth-quarter attempts. "They did a good job."

Ben Wallace had 18 rebounds for Detroit.

"It was a tough game, coming off a back-to-back with a
double-overtime game," Wallace said. "The good teams are the ones
who find ways to win games."

Milwaukee trailed most of the second half and was behind 73-64
with 7:08 left after Rasheed Wallace's 5-footer capped a 10-2 run.
After Jamaal Magloire sank a free throw, Redd scored seven
consecutive points to make it a one-point game.

"To our credit we came back and located him in the last few
minutes, and didn't give him any good looks," Detroit coach Flip
Saunders said.

Billups made a 3-pointer to give Detroit a 76-72 lead with 4
minutes left, and Hamilton sank a 13-footer to make it 78-72 with
2:58 to go. Rasheed Wallace hit a free throw and Billups made two
free throws to give the Pistons an 81-72 lead with 38 seconds left.

Milwaukee didn't score again until Magloire made a layup with 36
seconds left and the game decided.

"That's disappointing," Redd said of the fourth quarter. "I
don't know if we weren't aggressive enough or if it was their
defense."

Magloire had 17 rebounds for Milwaukee, which has lost four of
five. The 76 points were a season low for the Bucks, who had their
lowest-scoring game since a 99-73 loss to Detroit last April 15.

Detroit took the lead for good 46-44 on Prince's short hook with
8:34 left in the third quarter. The Pistons extended the lead to
61-50 on Prince's two free throws with 1:45 to go in the quarter,
but the Bucks used a 9-2 run to pull within 63-59 at the end of the
period.

Game notes
Milwaukee F Joe Smith had a sore left knee and was inactive
for the game. ... The Bucks scored 35 points in the first half, a
season low for a half. ... It was the Bucks' first loss in six
games against Eastern Conference teams this season. ... Redd missed
13 of his 20 shots.