Pistons 115, Wizards 110, OT

After 11 NBA seasons, Richard Hamilton knows his days as an

elite scorer are probably over.

He’s still capable of lighting things up on occasion,


Hamilton scored 12 of his 27 points in overtime in the Detroit

Pistons’ 115-110 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday


”I still enjoy playing this game, and I’m always going to work

hard out there,” said Hamilton, who came into the night averaging

just 12.1 points. ”When they need me, like they did tonight, I’m

going to be ready.”

Hamilton hit five straight jumpers before missing with 23

seconds left in the extra period. He later added two free throws to

give the Pistons a four-point lead.

”We could tell that the Wizards were having trouble guarding

Rip down the stretch,” Pistons coach John Kuester said. ”He had

things going, and we were going to keep getting him the ball.”

Hamilton’s overtime heroics wouldn’t have been possible without

Charlie Villanueva’s performance in regulation. Villanueva had 25

points and 10 rebounds in the first 48 minutes, and also blocked

Gilbert Arenas’ 3-point attempt that would have put the Wizards up

by five with 1:17 left.

”I was just determined to win this game,” Villanueva said.

”In the end, Rip did what we needed from him. He’s been

struggling, so it is always good to see him get going like


Kuester even got some coaching help from veteran Tracy


”Tracy came up with a play, and we got two huge 3-pointers out

of it in the fourth quarter – Will Bynum got one and Charlie got

one,” Kuester said. ”That’s how you know you are coming together

as a team – when guys speak up in situations like that.”

Wizards rookie star John Wall missed his fourth straight game

because of a sprained left foot. He was on the Wizards’ active

list, and coach Flip Saunders said before the game that he hoped to

get a few minutes out of him, but Wall ended up watching in street


JaVale McGee had 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Wizards.

Gilbert Arenas added 19 points and a career-high 16 assists.

”We played a great game, so this one hurts,” Arenas said.

”The blowouts don’t hurt – it is the ones you should have won. We

should have won this, but I had two key turnovers.”

Hamilton’s fifth jumper put Detroit up 112-110 with a minute

left in overtime, and two straight Wizards turnovers let the

Pistons hang on for the win.

”Rip did in overtime what you want your veteran players to do –

he took over the game,” said Wizards coach Flip Saunders, who

coached Hamilton for three years in Detroit.

Washington only scored 17 points in the first quarter, but came

alive against the Pistons’ backup in the second. The Wizards hit

eight of their first nine shots and finished the quarter with 38

points to take a 55-52 lead.

Detroit cut it to 78-77 after three, but Washington took

advantage of the same matchups that had given them the big second

quarter. The Wizards were up 96-89 with 5:17 to go, but Villanueva

answered with his fourth 3-pointer of the game.

Five straight points from Andray Blatche put the Wizards up

102-98 with 1:40 left, but Villanueva’s block led to his tying

layup with 20.9 seconds to go. Blatche had an open 3-pointer at the

buzzer, but missed to set up overtime.

”Charlie has been doing that for us all season,” Hamilton

said. ”He was huge tonight.”

NOTES: The Pistons had to stop a promotion involving their

mascot and a frozen turkey when the thawing bird dripped water in

several parts of the floor. … Arenas and McGee had double-doubles

by the end of the third quarter. … Several Pistons greeted

Saunders – their former coach – before the game, although Ben

Wallace did not. … Detroit’s Austin Daye didn’t play after

starting the last two games.