Led by Hamilton’s strong play, the Pistons look to continue their recent dominance of the Washington Wizards.
Hamilton scored a season-best 37 points and helped Detroit overcome a late eight-point deficit to beat the New Jersey Nets 100-90 in overtime on Monday.
“In the last two games, the coaches have definitely given us a lot more freedom to do things on offense,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton is averaging 31 points while shooting 60 percent (21-for-35) from the field in his last two games—both Detroit wins. He averaged 11.5 points in his previous two games and the Pistons lost both.
Hamilton and the Pistons now try for their seventh straight win over the Wizards. Washington’s last win in the series came on Dec. 4, 2002. This is the first meeting between the teams this season.
Tayshaun Prince had 18 points and nine rebounds and matched a career high with seven assists for the Pistons on Monday. Detroit coach Larry Brown said it was the best game he’s seen Prince play.
“I think for us to be really good we need Tayshaun to be part of our offense,” Brown said. We need to run some stuff through him. I think that he has to be more of a part of this.”
Prince is averaging 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds.
The Wizards rebounded from an ugly loss with an impressive shooting display in a 106-97 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday.
After tying a season low for points in a 109-74 loss at Minnesota on Sunday, Washington shot a season-best 54.8 percent and scored 60 points in the paint.
It was the start of an important stretch in which Washington plays seven of eight at home.
Wizards forward Kwame Brown strained a right ankle tendon in the first half and didn’t return. His status for Wednesday’s game is uncertain.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 27): Pistons - 2nd place, 1 1/2 GB, Central Division. Wizards - 2nd place (tied), 6 GB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Pistons - Hamilton, 20.7 ppg; Ben Wallace, 12.6 rpg; Billups, 6.3 apg. Wizards - Arenas, 22.2 ppg and 5.2 apg; Jamison, 8.7 rpg.
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Pistons, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: April 12; Pistons, 98-79. At Auburn Hills, Mich., Hamilton had 24 points and 12 assists to lead Detroit.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pistons - 6-8 on the road; Wizards - 8-4 at home.