Nuggets' four-game win streak ends rudely

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons didn't stay in a
slump for long.

In the first game since their undefeated start ended with an
embarrassing 37-point loss in Dallas, the Pistons got 19 points
from Richard Hamilton and snapped the Denver Nuggets' four-game
winning streak with a 114-89 victory Wednesday night.

"We wanted to get back to playing Pistons basketball," said
Chauncey Billups, who added 16 points and 11 assists. "We got
caught up in the wrong tempo in Dallas, but tonight we played our

Detroit had seven players in double figures and set a season
high for assists.

"To have 36 assists on 43 baskets shows that we are playing
team basketball," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "We aren't as
good as we looked tonight, and we aren't as bad as we looked in

The 9-1 Pistons impressed Denver coach George Karl.

"That team doesn't care who plays well -- they have seven or
eight guys who are committed to playing team basketball," he said.
"They are the best passing team I've seen this year, and their
transition game is much better than last year."

Ben Wallace added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Pistons,
while reserve Maurice Evans scored a season-high 16.

"I think everyone is getting confidence in Mo," Saunders said.
"He makes spectacular plays at both ends of the court. It's just
the basic ones that he needs to work on. That's the frustrating

Marcus Camby led the Nuggets (7-6) with 15 points and 10
rebounds, while Carmelo Anthony scored 12.

"That's a great team, but you can't let any team get a big lead
in their own building," Camby said. "This was a good measuring
stick for us. We can take this game and see where we are."

Detroit never trailed and took control of the game in the second
quarter. The Pistons led by as many as 19 points in the period
before taking a 60-43 advantage into halftime.

The Pistons shot 60 percent (12-of-20) in the second quarter and
held the Nuggets to 35 percent (7-of-20). Hamilton led Detroit with
seven points in the period, while Evans added six.

Detroit then put away the game with a 16-3 run to start the
third quarter that included two 3-pointers by Rasheed Wallace and
one by Tayshaun Prince.

Prince also held Anthony to 4-of-15 shooting, but didn't want
the credit.

"That didn't have anything to do with me," he said. "Every
time he penetrated, Ben and Rasheed were waiting for him. I think
that is what bothered him."

The Pistons led by as many as 31 down the stretch.

The game was delayed briefly with 1:32 to play after Francisco
Elson appeared to get woozy after being accidentally hit in the
face by Carlos Delfino. Elson was helped to the bench and was
checked out by paramedics and members of both training staffs
before walking to the locker room under his own power with what
Karl described as a "mild concussion."

"I don't think there's anything other than a hard hit to the
head," Karl said. "He had trouble getting his equilibrium back,
but I think he's going to be fine."

Game notes
Kenyon Martin (knee) played for only the second time in
seven games, scoring 10 points in 21 minutes. ... Denver wore its
white home uniforms as the Pistons debuted a new red alternate
jersey. ... Anthony picked up a third-quarter technical for arguing
a call, while Elson and Darko Milicic each got technicals after a
brief fourth-quarter scuffle. ... The Pistons sold out their 89th
straight home game despite an early season snowstorm that hit
Detroit late Wednesday morning.