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News » Anthony, Billups can't stop streaking Pistons

Anthony, Billups can't stop streaking Pistons

Anthony, Billups can't stop streaking Pistons

Billups' return didn't register much of a buzz at The Palace, where he was adored for helping Detroit win the 2004 NBA title, and he fell to 0-3 against Detroit as an ex-Piston.

"It's still like coming home when I play here," he said. "It's always going to be fun. I'm never going to let this put a blemish on what I feel about this building and the fans here."

Detroit was very competitive despite adding Bynum to the list of injured players.

Swedish rookie Jonas Jerebko had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Ben Wallace had seven points and 16 rebounds for the Pistons.

Wallace's hustle helped the Pistons hold on over the last couple of minutes, scoring on a putback and stealing a pass in the backcourt to set up Stuckey's layup that put them ahead by three.

"Ben is playing great," Billups said. "I'm happy for him because he has rejuvenated himself. He's all over the place, blocking shots, getting rebounds and tipouts."

Anthony missed a free throw on the ensuing possession with 52.6 seconds left, then Detroit failed to make a shot on consecutive possessions. Denver had the ball at midcourt with 6.1 seconds left and Billups got a good look at a shot in the lane.

"It was Chauncey in Detroit so I thought that was the right shot, and I'm happy with the look he got," Karl said. "It just didn't go down."

The Pistons went from being a consistent Eastern Conference contender with Billups to a team that barely made the playoffs last season and got off to a slow start this season before a recent surge.

Billups said fans in Detroit should be encouraged by the team's present and future."They've got some really good young players," Billups said. "Stuckey is coming into his own as we all knew he would and they have some veterans who know what it takes to win. They're going to be fine."

NOTES: Pistons president Tom Wilson declined comment on a report the team's gate receipts are down 42 percent since the same point last season, but Wilson acknowledged "obviously, our numbers are down," as he looked toward sparsely filled upper-deck sections before the game. ... Anthony, who entered the game averaging an NBA-best 29.6 points, has failed to score 20-plus points in only one game this season.

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Added: December 11, 2009


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