AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Chauncey Billups had 24 points and 10 assists, and the Detroit Pistons beat the Atlanta Hawks 103-98 Wednesday night.

Billups was one of three Pistons with a double-double. Rasheed Wallace finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Tayshaun Prince had 15 points and 11 boards in Detroit’s fourth straight victory.

The Hawks came in with a three-game losing streak and were missing Marvin Williams (hand) and Josh Childress (foot), but still gave the Pistons a tough night.

The Pistons entered the fourth quarter with a one-point lead, but missed their first five shots. The Hawks only managed three free throws, though, keeping the game tight.

Detroit increased its advantage by dominating the offensive boards, getting four put-back baskets – two each by Prince and Antonio McDyess – in a five-minute span.

That put the Pistons up 91-85 with 2:50 to go, and they held on through a foul-filled finish.

Detroit finished with a season-high 18 offensive rebounds, including five from Prince. The Pistons also forced 18 turnovers while only committing eight.

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 25 points and rookie Shelden Williams added a career-best 20.

Thanks to an early 14-3 run, Atlanta led for most of the first half, including a 49-45 lead at intermission. The Pistons shot 36 percent in the half, and only stayed close because of 10 offensive rebounds and 10 Atlanta turnovers.

Atlanta went ahead by 11 by scoring the first seven points of the third quarter, including five from Johnson.

The Hawks, though, kept turning the ball over, and the Pistons came back to tie it at 63.

Detroit finished the period with a 73-72 lead. The Hawks had seven turnovers in the quarter – three by Johnson.

Notes: Wednesday was the first of Atlanta’s two holiday-week visits to Detroit – the Hawks also play at the Palace on Dec. 23. … Atlanta hit six of its first eight 3-point attempts. … Pistons starting center Nazr Mohammed fouled out despite playing just 16 minutes. … Williams had never scored more than eight points in his month-long career.

AP-ES-11-22-06 2213EST


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