Gilbert Arenas scored 26 points, Antawn Jamison 22 and Troy Murphy and Erick Dampier had 12 each as the Warriors won their fifth straight for the first time since the first five games of the 1994-95 season.
"This was a playoff-type atmosphere game,'' Golden State coach Eric Musselman said. "Both teams grinded it out. ... This is the type of game that we can reflect back on down the road. It seemed like every possession was fourth-and-1.''
Detroit had a chance to tie in the closing seconds but Billups
missed a contested 15-footer and Ben Wallace missed a follow shot
from short range.
Jamison pulled down the rebound and was fouled with 0.4 seconds
left. He missed both free throws but teammate Adonal Foyle grabbed
the rebound as the Warriors won for the third straight time at home
against the Pistons.
Wallace finished with 18 rebounds and four blocks.
"I got a good look,'' Billups said. "That's a shot I can hit. I got by the guy for a pull-up and it just didn't go for me.''
Jamison scored nine of his points in the fourth quarter, including seven straight during a 7-2 run that broke a 70-70 tie and gave the Warriors the lead for good. His driving layup gave the Warriors a 77-72 lead with 6:00 left.
"Any given night someone can step up and produce for us,'' Jamison said. "Last year these were the types of games that we lost, but this year we are winning them.''
The league's top defense couldn't hold down hot-shooting Arenas
during a 12-0 Golden State run in the middle of the second quarter.
The 6-foot-3 second-year point guard, who averaged 22.8 points a
game in February, scored eight points during the run. He capped it
with a driving layup past three Detroit defenders to give the
Warriors a 58-53 lead with 4:05 left in the third.
He also scored on consecutive driving layups to give Golden
State an 86-80 lead with 3:56 left in the contest.
Musselman pulled out Arenas in favor of Earl Boykins for the final 3:48. Arenas had five fouls at the time.
"It was a difficult decision to keep Gilbert out down the stretch, but with five fouls I wanted to save him just in case it went into overtime,'' Musselman said.
Two early blocks by Wallace seemed fire up the normally quiet
Dampier, who countered with two blocks, five rebounds and 10 points
in the first quarter as the Warriors took a 23-14 lead. Dampier's
first-quarter totals were comparable to his game averages of 8.2
points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.07 blocks. Dampier also drew the biggest
roar of the night, when he blocked a left-handed dunk attempt by
Michael Curry late in the third quarter.
"(Foyle) and Dampier were phenomenal tonight,'' Musselman said.
"We wanted to go with length down low defensively and we got good
The Warriors, however, had no answer for the guard tandem of
Hamilton and Billups who made 20 of Detroit's 31 field goals. They
also combined to hit 21 of 22 foul shots.
"Its tough because all season long we would win these games,''
Both teams shot poorly -- Detroit was 31-of-81 (38.3 percent) and
the Warriors 33-of-83 (39.8 percent). The Warriors, who got 12
rebounds from Murphy and 10 by Dampier, outrebounded the Pistons,
"Youre going to have off-shooting nights,'' Pistons coach Rick
Carlisle said. "The bottom line is we didnt do the job we needed
to on the boards.''
Golden State has used the same starting lineup in each of
the first 58 games, the longest streak to begin a season by any
Warriors team since moving West in 1962-63. ... With an 8-5 record
in February, Golden State posted consecutive months over .500 for
the first time since the 1993-94 season. ... Hamilton came in
averaging 22.7 points and shooting 52 percent from the field in his
last nine games. His career high of 41 came vs. the Warriors in
2001. ... The Pistons are No. 1 in the league in bench scoring at
34.6 per game. The Warriors outscored them 12-9.
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