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.
"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
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
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
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
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.
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