Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/15

Game 1: Saturday, November 15th
Game 2: Friday, January 2nd

Pistons 100

(6-4, 3-3 away)

Suns 91

(3-6, 2-3 home)

7:00 PM ET, November 15, 2003

US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

1 2 3 4 T
DET 24 28 17 31100
PHX 21 21 28 2191

Top Performers

Det: C. Billups 24 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast

PHX: A. Stoudemire 17 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

Pistons break 3-game losing streak

PHOENIX (AP) -- A day after his missed 3-pointer helped fuel a loss to the Lakers, Chauncey Billups kept jacking up the long ball. This time, he had no regrets.

Mehmet Okur

Detroit's Okur gets smothered by the Sun Amare Stoudemire.

Billups broke an 84-84 tie with a 3-pointer with 2:16 left and made another 29 seconds later, leading the Detroit Pistons to a 100-91 win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.

"If I'd have missed it, it would've been a bad shot," he said. "But I take a lot of pride in that. My guys look for me to step up in that magnitude, and I take the challenge every time."

"That kind of killed us," the Suns' Shawn Marion said. "They hit some big shots."

Richard Hamilton scored 27 points -- seven in the last 56 seconds -- and Billups had 12 of his 24 in the fourth quarter, helping the Pistons snap their three-game losing streak.

Ben Wallace had 13 points and 16 rebounds in the type of victory coach Larry Brown was anxious to see after losses by six, two and five points at Sacramento, Golden State and Los Angeles.

"We finally got a close-game win," Brown said.

Wallace combined with Hamilton on a big play with 55 seconds left, retrieving the ball in Detroit's end of the floor after Hamilton tipped Casey Jacobsen's inbounds pass away from Amare Stoudemire.

The ball eventually wound up in Hamilton's hands for a layup that made it 95-88 with 48 seconds to play.

Corliss Williamson had 11 points for the Pistons, who have won four straight in Phoenix.

"We got the ball in the right people's hands, and we executed," Hamilton said. "This win makes the ride home a lot smoother."

Marion had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns, who led starting the fourth quarter and were ahead 83-80 with 4:38 left. Stephon Marbury also scored 19 points, Stoudemire had 17 and 14 rebounds and Joe Johnson scored 14.

The Suns have lost three in a row.

After Johnson sank a short floater to give the Suns an 83-80 lead, Billups hit a 16-foot jumper and Mehmet Okur made two free throws to give Detroit the lead with 3:39 left.

The Suns' Jake Voskuhl tied it with a free throw at the 3:23 mark, but with 2:40 remaining Johnson missed a shot and Tayshaun Prince rebounded, leading to the first of Billups' back-to-back 3-pointers.

On Friday night, Billups rushed an off-balance 3-point attempt with his team trailing by three. Shaquille O'Neal rebounded it and made two free throws with 20 seconds left in Los Angeles' 94-89 victory.

Phoenix outscored the Pistons 21-8 in an 8:03 span of the third quarter, turning a 10-point deficit into a 65-60 lead.

The Pistons tied it at 67 when Lindsey Hunter stole the ball from Leandro Barbosa for a breakaway with 2:02 to go, but Barbosa answered 23 seconds later with a 3-pointer, and the Suns led 70-69 going into the fourth.

"We're doing the things we need to do," Phoenix coach Frank Johnson said. "Just sometimes, we're trying to do too much."

After a slow start in the game, the Suns forced the pace with a 14-2 run featuring four short-range baskets and an assist by Johnson. His driving layup with 4:30 left in the first quarter lifted Phoenix to a 16-6 lead.

Detroit forced the Suns into four turnovers and capitalized on three to get back in it, taking its first double-digit lead, 52-42, on a 3-pointer and three-point play by Billups and Hamilton's two free throws in the last 1:06 of the second quarter.

Game notes

Billups, who had a season-high 29 points the night before against the Lakers, was 3-for-4 on 3-pointers. ... Stoudemire, the youngest player to win the NBA's Rookie of the Year award, turns 21 Sunday. ... The Suns came in committing the fewest turnovers in the NBA (13.0), but had 18 this game after losing 20 the night before in Houston.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 100 91
FGM-FGA 35-74 (.473) 37-80 (.463)
3PM-3PA 3-8 (.375) 3-17 (.176)
FTM-FTA 27-39 (.692) 14-17 (.824)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-36 10-40
Assists 15 12
Turnovers 11 18
Steals 12 7
Blocks 4 6
Fast Break Points 10 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (1/0) 30 (1/0)

Top Performers

Chauncey Billups Billups
Points: 24
Reb: 2
Ast: 4
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
Points: 17
Reb: 14
Ast: 0
Stl: 1
Blk: 2