Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/11

Game 1: Sunday, December 11th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 8th

Pistons 109

(15-2, 10-1 away)

Clippers 101

(14-6, 9-2 home)

Coverage: FSPI

6:00 PM ET, December 11, 2005

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

1 2 3 4 T
DET 30 29 24 26109
LAC 23 22 27 29101

Top Performers

Detroit: C. Billups 25 Pts, 3 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl

Los Angeles: E. Brand 36 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk

Pistons hold on to beat Clippers for sixth straight win

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Chauncey Billups scored 25 points, Richard Hamilton had 23 points and the Detroit Pistons overcame Ben Wallace's poor free throw shooting to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-101 Sunday night and extend their winning streak to six.

The Pistons are atop the NBA with a franchise-best 15-2 start. The Clippers (14-6) have the league's third-best mark and lead the Pacific Division.

The two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Pistons have won four straight on the road and are 10-1 away from home. Los Angeles entered 9-1 at home, but the absence of starting forward Corey Maggette for the third straight game was too much to overcome.

Elton Brand had 36 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who were trying to sweep a five-game homestand for the first time since 1978-79, when the team was based in San Diego. The Clippers had won 14 of 15 home games against Eastern Conference teams, dating to a double-overtime loss against Boston on Dec. 13, 2004.

The Clippers have lost six straight to Detroit and 15 of 19, including a double-overtime defeat the last time the teams met at Staples Center. The Pistons, who came in with the best assist-to-turnover in the league, turned the ball over just four times and finished with 24 assists.

Trailing by 14 points, the Clippers narrowed the gap to 92-84 with a 21-footer by Sam Cassell, a running hook shot by Cuttino Mobley and a dunk by Chris Wilcox off a feed from Mobley with six minutes to play. Their game plan the rest of the way was to keep fouling Wallace, who was 5-for-20 from the line in the fourth quarter and 7-for-22 for the game.

Wallace missed both attempts with 4:55 remaining, but grabbed the rebound on the second and threw it out to Billups, who drained a 3-pointer to give the Pistons a 97-86 cushion. The Clippers got no closer than nine points after that. Wallace finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Detroit committed one turnover in the first half while building a 59-45 lead with 13 points from Billups. Rasheed Wallace's first two baskets of the game were 3-pointers, one of which came during a 20-8 run over the final 5:25 of the second quarter.

Brand, who had a 15-point third quarter in Saturday night's victory over Phoenix, scored 17 in the third against the Pistons. But it hardly made a dent as Hamilton responded with 11 points in the quarter including a 14-footer that gave Detroit its biggest lead, 61-45, just 41 seconds after intermission.

Game notes

Pistons assistant coach Ron Harper, who helped the Clippers make the playoffs in 1992 and 1993 as a shooting guard, couldn't be happier that his former team has gotten off to the second-best 20-game start in the franchise's 36-year history. "This is a great place to play now," he said. ... The Clippers' next game is Tuesday night at San Antonio against the defending champion Spurs, who have won the last seven meetings and 27 of the last 30. Since moving to Los Angeles, the Clippers are 9-58 against the previous season's champion. ... Rasheed Wallace had 10 points after scoring 26 at Chicago and 22 at Golden State in Detroit's previous two games. The last time he had three consecutive games with at least 20 points was April 3-6, 2003. ... The Clippers' only other home loss was to Indiana.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 109 101
FGM-FGA 38-77 (.494) 42-85 (.494)
3PM-3PA 8-12 (.667) 2-5 (.400)
FTM-FTA 25-45 (.556) 15-16 (.938)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-40 11-42
Assists 24 22
Turnovers 4 10
Steals 4 3
Blocks 8 3
Fast Break Points 4 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (1/0) 27 (2/0)
Largest Lead 16 0

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Chauncey Billups Billups
Points: 25
Reb: 3
Ast: 8
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Elton Brand Brand
Points: 36
Reb: 10
Ast: 4
Stl: 0
Blk: 2