Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/3

Game 1: Saturday, December 3rd
Game 2: Friday, December 16th
Game 3: Friday, February 24th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 8th

Pistons 95

(45-9, 20-7 away)

Bulls 87

(24-30, 12-15 home)

    Coverage: CSNC

    7:30 PM ET, February 24, 2006

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 25 25 22 2395
    CHI 18 21 31 1787

    Top Performers

    Detroit: C. Billups 17 Pts, 2 Reb, 12 Ast, 1 Blk

    Chicago: A. Nocioni 17 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast

    Tech bubble: Pistons top Bulls in emotionally charged game

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Michael Jordan and a few other old-timers watched bad blood return to the Detroit-Chicago rivalry on Friday night.

    Chauncey Billups scored 17 points and Antonio McDyess tied a season high with 16 to lift the Pistons to a 95-87 victory over the Bulls in a game that featured seven technical fouls.

    Detroit's Richard Hamilton scored 14 points before being ejected for picking up his second technical midway through the fourth quarter, after throwing an elbow toward Chicago's Kirk Hinrich. Hamilton's first technical came in the third, after he and Hinrich got tangled while fighting for rebounding position.

    The Pistons' Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and coach Flip Saunders collected technicals, as did the Bulls' Hinrich and Andres Nocioni.

    It felt like a late 1980s/early 1990s Pistons-Bulls game, and several old-timers were in attendance -- the Bulls' Jordan and John Paxson and Detroit's Joe Dumars and Bill Laimbeer.

    Billups was 4-for-14 from the field, but 8-of-9 from the free throw line and scored six points in the final 2:10. He also had 12 assists.

    McDyess shot 8-of-10, while fellow backup Maurice Evans scored 15 points.

    After scoring 28 in a victory over Indiana the previous night, Rasheed Wallace was 1-of-13 and finished with three points. He was scoreless before hitting a technical free throw just under three minutes into the fourth quarter that increased Detroit's lead to 77-72.

    Ben Gordon led the Bulls with 24 points, and Nocioni scored all of his 17 in the third quarter.

    After being blown out twice by the Pistons in December, including their most lopsided loss this season in a 28-point defeat on Dec. 16, the Bulls stayed in it until the end.

    Up 72-70 after three quarters, the Pistons maintained their lead in the fourth. Chicago pulled within two several times -- the last when Darius Songaila's basket made it 87-85 with 2:37 left.

    But a jumper by Billups and Tayshaun Prince's two free throws made it 91-85 with 47 seconds left. In between, Tayshaun Prince blocked a layup by Gordon, and Billups rejected one by Luol Deng to preserve the lead.

    "They tried to beat us off the dribble as much as they can, which they did," Saunders said. "We closed things down in the stretch. We had some guys who made some big plays."

    The Pistons were ahead 52-45 early in the second when things really got heated.

    Nocioni was initially called for charging into Rasheed Wallace. The call was reversed, and Wallace, who remained sprawled on the floor, wound up with a technical and his fourth foul.

    Nocioni -- whose basket was waved off, counted and waved off again -- hit two free throws that cut Detroit's lead to 52-48.

    About 1:30 later, Hinrich and Hamilton got their arms tangled while jockeying for rebounding position under the Pistons' basket. That led to a double technical and a foul against Hamilton.

    "What me and him did was all in the heat of the game," Hamilton said. "When you're out there, you're trying to get the advantage over the guy you're going against. And that's me trying to get my advantage."

    Although he had nothing negative to say about Hinrich, Hamilton said Bulls coach Scott Skiles talked trash throughout the game.

    "I kept hearing someone talking slick from behind me," Hamilton said. "I'm like, 'Who is talking to me?' Me and Hinrich had a little battle going on, but that's all fun and games. I kept hearing someone behind me, and I turned around and it was him.

    "My thing is your job is to coach the team," he continued. "Your job is not to say stuff to me, and that's what got me (ticked) off."

    Hamilton thought that might have contributed to his second technical, because the referees were telling him to ignore Skiles.

    Skiles would not elaborate on anything he said to Hamilton. But he had plenty to say about how the Pistons treat the referees.

    "They literally complain about every call all night long," Skiles said. "They are having a great year doing it. I'm not sure what that says."

    Do they bully officials?

    "I would never say that," Skiles said.

    Hamilton said he couldn't remember the last time he was tossed. But he did recall discussing the subject with Rasheed Wallace, who has collected a technical or two during his career.

    The irony wasn't lost on Hamilton.

    "I was talking to Rasheed about his technicals," he said. "And I was looking at mine, and I was like, 'I've only got two technicals. I feel good.' Now I've got three technicals in the last two games."

    Game Notes
    The Pistons cruised to a 92-79 victory in Chicago on Dec. 3, wiping out a 15-point second-quarter deficit, then beat the Bulls 110-82 in the second meeting of the season. ... Gordon scored 12 points in the first quarter on Friday night, but managed just 12 the rest of the way. ... The Bulls' Tyson Chandler grabbed 11 rebounds, his 13th consecutive game with 10 or more. ... Chicago veteran Malik Allen hit the first 3-pointer of his career.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 95 87
    FGM-FGA 34-84 (.405) 33-79 (.418)
    3PM-3PA 6-25 (.240) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 21-29 (.724) 18-25 (.720)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-41 14-48
    Assists 24 13
    Turnovers 7 18
    Steals 6 2
    Blocks 5 5
    Fast Break Points 4 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (5/0) 30 (3/0)
    Largest Lead 13 3

    Top Performers

    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 17
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Andres Nocioni Nocioni
    Points: 17
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0