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Williamson scores 20 off the bench

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons enjoyed a small
measure of revenge for last season's sweep in the Eastern
Conference finals.

Richard Hamilton scored 24 points, Corliss Williamson added 20
off the bench and Detroit beat the New Jersey Nets 98-84 Sunday for
its fifth straight win.

"There's no better way to get ready for a West Coast trip than
to beat the defending champs in the East," Williamson said.
"That's why this one was important."

Ben Wallace had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, which
improved to 5-1. Chauncey Billups and Elden Campbell scored 11
each.

"We aren't making a big deal about last year, but we know that
to come out of the East, the road is going to probably go through
Jersey," Wallace said. "So this is a big win to build on, and a
big win for our confidence."

Jason Kidd led the Nets with 18 points and 11 assists, and Kerry Kittles scored 17. Jason Collins added 11 points and 10 rebounds
for New Jersey, which was missing injured forwards Kenyon Martin,
Rodney Rogers and Brian Scalabrine.

"You just have to deal with it," Nets coach Byron Scott said.
"We're thin with the big men we do have, and when they get in foul
trouble, that's going to hurt you on the offensive end and the
defensive end."

Detroit trailed by as many as 13 in the first quarter, but
rallied to take a 48-47 edge at halftime.

"We played really soft early, but our bench, especially
Corliss, came in and got us going," Pistons coach Larry Brown
said. "I think, at times, we don't have a defensive mentality to
start the game. And when you start out trying to outscore people,
it is difficult to pick it up later."

The teams traded baskets throughout the third, but Detroit
finished with a 6-2 run to take a 75-70 lead into the final period.

The Pistons moved the margin to 82-74 with a six-point spurt and
had a chance to take a double-digit lead, but Lindsey Hunter missed
a 3-pointer with 8:30 left.

New Jersey scored the next four points, but two baskets from
Hamilton, including a 3-pointer, and Williamson's dunk put Detroit
up 89-78 with five minutes to go.

"We just didn't get it done," said New Jersey's Alonzo
Mourning, who finished with nine points and five rebounds in 16
minutes. "I still think we match up well with Detroit. We're
short-handed, and look how we played. We'll be back, and they know
that."

Game notes
The Pistons placed guard Chucky Atkins (knee) on the
injured list before the game and activated Hunter. ... The Nets
dressed just 10 players. They have the maximum three players on the
injured list. ... Wallace left early in the second half with a
twisted ankle, but returned after four minutes on the bench. ...
New Jersey's Tamar Slay picked up four fouls in a four-minute
stretch of the second quarter. ... Pistons rookie Darko Milicic had
a chance for the first points of his career in the final minute,
but a long outlet pass sailed through his hands.