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Billups scores 11 in OT as Pistons go 35-5

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons think Chauncey
Billups should be an All-Star because of his versatility.

Wednesday night, he took that to an extreme.

After not taking a single shot while dishing out eight
first-half assists, Billups scored 23 points after the
intermission, including 11 in overtime, to help the Pistons beat
Milwaukee 106-102.

"You talk about a point guard that can do everything -- that's
Chauncey," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said after Detroit's ninth
straight win. "He can make the 3, he can pass, he can defend, he
makes free throws and he scores."

Billups said that he knew he had to shoot more after the break.

"In the first half, I was breaking down the defense, and guys
were wide open," he said. "But they made some adjustments, so I
knew if I was aggressive, I would get some open looks."

The win gave the Pistons (35-5) the fourth-best 40-game record
in league history. The Chicago Bulls (1995-96), Philadelphia 76ers
(1966-67) and Los Angeles Lakers (1971-72) all started 37-3. No
team has started 36-4, and the Bulls went 35-5 in both 1991-92 and
1996-97.

"We don't care about the numbers," Ben Wallace said. "We just
want to add them up at the end of the season and come up with
home-court advantage."

The Pistons had to overcome 41 points from Michael Redd,
including 31 in the second half. It matched his career high.

"He was really good," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. "He
would make some really big shots, but then they would make a big
shot."

Detroit led 87-77 with 3:30 to play in regulation, but Redd and
Maurice Williams combined for 13 points in a 15-5 run that forced
overtime.

"We get up for the good teams," Redd said.

Redd and Williams scored six straight points to put the Bucks up
98-94 in the extra session, but Rasheed Wallace hit a 3-pointer and
Billups followed with a jumper to give Detroit the lead with 57.8
seconds left.

Rasheed Wallace then stole the ball from Andrew Bogut, and
Billups hit a 3-pointer to give the Pistons a 102-98 lead.

Billups clinched the game with four free throws as the crowd
chanted "M-V-P".

"He's a great player," Redd said. "We had the game in our
pocket, but he hit those big shots in overtime, and Rasheed hit a
three. They have a lot of guys who can make big shots."

Richard Hamilton led Detroit with 35 points.

Bogut and Bobby Simmons had 14 each for Milwaukee.

The Bucks led for much of the first half, but the Pistons put
together a late run to take a 50-44 lead at the intermission.

Redd got the Bucks back into the game early in the third,
scoring eight points in four minutes to pull Milwaukee within
54-52.

Hamilton and Billups hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the
Pistons some breathing room, and the Pistons finished the period
with a a 74-65 lead. The backcourt duo scored all 24 of Detroit's
points in the period -- 12 each -- while Redd had 14 in the quarter
for the Bucks.

Milwaukee cut the lead to 87-83 with 2:47 left on a pair of
Williams 3-pointers, and Rasheed Wallace followed by missing two
free throws.

Simmons' layup made it a two-point game, but Hamilton appeared
to put the game away with five quick points.

Redd, though, scored the next five, and after a Rasheed Wallace
miss, the Bucks got the ball with 27 seconds left, trailing 92-90.

This time, Redd hit an off-balance jumper, tying the game with
14.2 seconds to go, and Rasheed Wallace's long 3-pointer rattled in
and out with one second to go.

"The 3-pointer in overtime was huge, but if 'Sheed had hit the
one in regulation, we could have gone home a lot earlier,"
Saunders joked.

Game notes
Hamilton went 10-for-13 in the third and fourth quarters,
while the rest of the Pistons went a combined 6-for-23. ...
Milwaukee was called for a technical in the third quarter for a
second delay-of-game offense. ... The Pistons' 35-5 start also
matches the record-setting start of another famous Detroit team --
the World Series-winning 1984 Tigers. "People have been talking
about 35-5 and the Tigers a lot lately, but the reason that people
remember it is that they won the championship," Saunders said.
"If we don't win the title, no one will remember that we were
35-5."