Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/19

Game 1: Wednesday, November 19th
Game 2: Saturday, January 31st

Pistons 99

(8-4, 4-3 away)

    8:00 PM ET, November 19, 2003

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 20 29 28 2299
    MEM 27 25 15 2592

    Top Performers

    Detroit: C. Billups 33 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    Memphis: L. Wright 18 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Stl

    Billups scores season-high 33 in victory

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- After looking tired at the start, the Detroit Pistons regrouped and finished strong.

    The Pistons, coming off a win at home Tuesday night over the Lakers, used a third-quarter rally led by Chauncey Billups to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-92 Wednesday night.

    Billups, who had a season-high 33 points, scored 14 in the third as the Pistons put the game out of reach.

    "We started off flat and came out in the second half and picked it up," forward Ben Wallace said. "If we want to be a good team, we've got to play good in back-to-back games."

    Billups, who had 25 points in the second half, not only sparked Detroit's big run but also thwarted Memphis' comeback attempts with clutch baskets in the final quarter.

    The Pistons won their third straight and ended Memphis' three-game winning streak, which included victories over the Lakers and Mavericks.

    "This was a game that presented a great challenge for us," Billups said. "(Memphis) has been playing great, and they are deep. A lot of big teams they had already beaten on this court."

    Detroit opened the second half with a 19-3 run, including 15 straight points, to erase Memphis' lead.

    Billups scored 10 in the stretch. Meanwhile, Memphis missed 13 of its first 14 shots in the half as Detroit built the lead to 68-55.

    "We just came out with a lot of energy in the third quarter," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "You had a great win against the Lakers, and you don't want to come in here and not have your best effort."

    The Grizzlies tried to come back midway through the fourth period as Shane Battier scored seven consecutive points to cut the lead to 86-83 with 4:36 to play. But another 3-pointer by Billups and Wallace's tip-in ended the run and Memphis' chances.

    "Chauncey made some big plays," Memphis guard Earl Watson said. "He's probably the best point guard we've faced so far."

    Billups also had five assists and seven rebounds.

    "Everybody keeps blowing smoke on all these other point guards in the league," Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. "(Billups) is playing as good, if not better, than anybody else."

    Tayshaun Prince had 16 points and six assists for Detroit, and Richard Hamilton added 15 points.

    Mike Miller and Lorenzen Wright scored 18 points apiece for Memphis. Pau Gasol had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Battier finished with 11 points.

    The Grizzlies benefited from 53 percent shooting in the first half to take a 52-49 lead at the break. Miller had 14 in the half to lead Memphis.

    Detroit, which trailed by 10 in the opening half, used the third-quarter rally to build a 77-67 lead heading into the final period.

    "We didn't look like the team we've been the last two weeks," Battier said.

    Game notes

    The Pistons are 6-1 this season when Billups scores 20 or more. ... The Pistons lead the series 12-3 and have won five straight. Memphis has not beaten Detroit since moving from Vancouver. ... The Pistons' reserves, who outscored the Lakers' bench 45-14 in Tuesday night's 106-96 win, didn't fare as well against Memphis. The Grizzlies' bench outscored Detroit's backups 48-18. ... Billups' 33 points were three short of his career high set with Minnesota against Dallas. ... Memphis point guard Jason Williams, who has averaged only 1.8 turnovers this season, had a season-high five miscues.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 99 92
    FGM-FGA 37-77 (.481) 35-80 (.438)
    3PM-3PA 5-7 (.714) 5-19 (.263)
    FTM-FTA 20-27 (.741) 17-23 (.739)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-46 13-38
    Assists 20 24
    Turnovers 18 16
    Steals 8 9
    Blocks 7 6
    Fast Break Points 4 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 21 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 33
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Lorenzen Wright Wright
    Points: 18
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0