Rip scores 20 of his 28 in second half

CHICAGO (AP) -- Richard Hamilton and the Detroit Pistons proved
they know how to close out victories.

Hamilton scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half, and Ben
Wallace had 16 rebounds and seven points to lead Detroit to a 87-80
victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Tayshaun Prince added 15 points and Rasheed Wallace scored 10
points for the Pistons, who have won five of their last six games.

The Pistons picked up their defensive pressure in the second
half, and held the Bulls to 11-for-40 shooting in the final two

"I think, as the game gets later, we get better. We really
tighten up our defense. That's what makes us a great team,"
Hamilton said.

Ben Gordon gave Chicago a 70-69 lead on a jumper with 7:39 left,
then Hamilton sparked a 14-4 run. Prince scored on a runner and
then hit two free throws, giving Detroit a 75-70 lead. Hamilton
capped the run with six straight points, making a jumper, a 3 and
one of two free throws to give Detroit a 83-74 lead.

"He (Hamilton) was hitting tough shots, he's that type of a
player, he had it going a little bit and he's tough to stop," said
Kirk Hinrich. "We had smaller guys on him and he was shooting over
us a little bit, he's fast and he's good at using (screens). He
hurt us."

Chicago's Eddy Curry missed the game with the flu. Tyson
Chandler started in his place and had six points and 14 rebounds.

The Pistons didn't waste the opportunity with Curry out,
outscoring the Bulls 42-14 in the paint.

"They rely on him so much on the inside, getting him the ball
early. Without him, its big," Hamilton said.

Gordon scored 27 points in a reserve role for Chicago, and
Hinrich added 19.

After Rasheed Wallace's jumper to start the third quarter,
Hinrich scored seven straight points to give Chicago a 51-41 lead.

Trailing 56-47 late in the third quarter, the Pistons rolled off
12 straight points to take the lead. Ben Wallace was rejected by
Chandler, but picked up the loose ball and scored before being
fouled. Ben Wallace missed the free throw, Ronald Dupree got the
rebound and missed a shot, but McDyess made the putback to give the
Pistons' a 57-56 lead -- their first of the second half. The next
time down, Dupree made two free throws to extend the lead to 59-56.

Gordon led Chicago with 17 points in the first half, scoring all
the points in the second quarter. He beat the buzzer at the end of
the first half with a runner to give Chicago a 44-39 lead at the
break. Gordon scored eight points in the final 1:50 of the second

Bulls head coach Scott Skiles isn't ready to start Gordon and
increase his minutes.

"I have said this many times, Ben does not have the stamina to
play huge, huge, minutes of a game, and I thought tonight was a
great example of that," said Skiles. "He was taken advantage on
the defensive end and struggled to make shots, he struggled even to
get open in the second half. half."

Chauncey Billups and Hamilton each had eight points for the
Pistons in the first half.

The Pistons missed their first nine shots and trailed 21-14 at
the end of the first quarter. They shot 4-of-19 in the quarter,
while Luol Deng had eight points for Chicago.

Game notes
The Pistons played the second of six straight sets of
back-to-back games. ... Deng scored 13 points for Chicago.


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