Detroit has won three straight since losing its first two games with Rasheed Wallace.
Wallace didn’t do much—and didn’t have to—against the team he played one game for before being traded to Detroit. He shot just 2-of-10 and had six points and six rebounds in the Pistons’ 105-83 win over Atlanta on Friday.
Detroit hopes Wallace can help end its road skid against Los Angeles. The Pistons haven’t beaten Los Angeles at Staples Center since March 25, 2000.
Billups played just three minutes in the final quarter and Hamilton did not get off the bench. With a 24-0 advantage in fast-break points, the Pistons scored a season-high 60 points in the first half and led by 28.
“We’ve had teams down big in the past, but have let them come back to break our hearts,” said Billups, who also had eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals. “We’ve learned from that.”
“Everybody wants to get in the game so when you get the opportunity to get into a game it’s important to make plays or you sit,” Simmons said. “It is as simple as that.”
Elton Brand had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who had lost seven of their previous nine games.
STANDINGS (through Feb. 27): Pistons - 2nd place, 6 1/2 GB, Central Division. Clippers - 5th place (tied), 17 GB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Pistons - Hamilton, 18.2 ppg; Ben Wallace, 13.1 rpg; Billups, 5.3 apg. Clippers - Brand, 20.4 ppg and 11.4 rpg; Jaric, 4.7 apg.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 5, 2003; Pistons, 89-80. At Auburn Hills, Mich., Mehmet Okur had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead Detroit.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pistons - 16-14 on the road; Clippers - 17-11 at home.