CLEVELAND (AP) – Chauncey Billups made his first three shots of the fourth quarter, leading the Detroit Pistons to an 87-71 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night in the first matchup between the clubs since last season’s playoffs.

Detroit’s Mr. Big Shot, Billups, who was just 1-of-9 from the floor after three quarters, dropped three jumpers – two of them 3-pointers – in the first 3:02 of the fourth as the Pistons went on a 14-3 run to open a 71-58 lead with 8:19 left.

Billups scored 17 points, including 12 in the fourth, and added 10 assists.

Tayshaun Prince had 16 points and Antonio McDyess added a season-high 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who overwhelmed the Cavs in the final period, outscoring them 30-16 and holding them to 3-of-16 shooting.

LeBron James had 26 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 16 for the Cavaliers, who dropped to 11-3 at home this season.

In last season’s second round, Cleveland won three straight over Detroit and had a chance to close out the Pistons in Game 6 but couldn’t come up with an offensive rebound in the closing seconds.

The Cavs then lost Game 7 in Auburn Hills, Mich., when the Pistons dominated the second half in a 79-61 win.

Anthony will reportedly accept his punishment

DENVER – Carmelo Anthony won’t appeal his 15-game suspension for his role in the New York Knicks brawl last weekend, according to USA Today and ESPN.com reports.

“It is Melo’s desire to focus on the issue at hand, not be a distraction to his team and focus on coming back as the best teammate he can be,” Bill Duffy, CEO of BDA Sports, the agency that represents Anthony, told USA Today in Thursday’s editions.

“He’s accepting full responsibility. That’s a mature response.”

Duffy and Anthony’s agent, Calvin Andrews, didn’t return calls from The Associated Press on Thursday.

Union director Billy Hunter, who could not confirm Anthony’s decision not to appeal


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