Billups drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Detroit Pistons rallied from a six-point deficit in the final two minutes to stun the Warriors, 107-105.
After Golden State’s Gilbert Arenas missed a jumper from the top of the key, the Pistons called timeout with 5.8 seconds left and advanced the ball to mid-court.
The inbounds pass went to Billups, who went 1-on-1 against Chris Mills on the right wing. With time running out, Billups pulled up for a jumper over Mills that hit nothing but net. He finished with 31 points.
“I just felt like on the switch he (Mills) had to respect my speed, so I backed it up a little bit, came at him, and saw him drop a couple steps back,” Billups said. “That’s a shot I like to shoot and I can hit that shot.”
“That was an unbelievable game,” Detroit coach Rick Carlisle said. “A lot of stuff was going on out there. Golden State is one of the really talented teams in this league. I think they are in the top third of the league in talent and they are No. 1 in young talent.”
It was the eighth straight loss in Detroit for the Warriors, who have dropped 18 of their last 21 here. Overall, Golden State has dropped three in a row after reaching .500.
“I’m real proud of the effort of our team,” Golden State coach Eric Musselman said. “In back-to-back nights, coming off a very emotional loss in Milwaukee, getting in here late and with our time change, I thought this would be a big character test for us and how we came out and competed.”
Arenas scored 28 points for Golden State, which fell despite shooting 50 percent (39-of-78) from the field.
“A great shooter would take a shot like that, and that’s what he did,” Arenas said of Billups’ buzzer-beater.
The Pistons won for the first time this season (1-7) when their opponent made at least half their shots.
Arenas made a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 102-96 lead with 2:08 left, but his technical foul and missed free throw down the stretch fueled the Pistons’ rally.
After Billups’ jumper made it 104-101 with 1:17 to go, Arenas was tied up by Cliff Robinson as he started a drive. Arenas was called for a loose-ball foul and yelled at the officials, earning a technical.
“He (Robinson) pulled my arm and the ref called it on me,” Arenas said. “I think the game turned around right there, so I had to express my feelings. I got a T for it and there’s nothing I can do.”
Robinson made 2-of-3 from the line, pulling the Pistons within a point. Arenas converted 1-of-2 from the line on the ensuing possession, making it 105-103.
On the other end, Ben Wallace was fouled by Adonal Foyle while battling for a rebound with 29 seconds to go. He was not able to tie it, converting only 1-of-2 free throws. But the Pistons got a crucial stop, setting the stage for Billups to win it.
“They knock down shots,” Robinson said of the Warriors. “For us to stay in there and make the plays that we needed to make to win the game, it’s a good sign. We could have easily let ourselves get down about the situation but we stayed with it.”
“They just want to outscore you,” Billups said of the Warriors. “They’ve got some great individual players, they’re the best rebounding team in the league. They’re going to put up a whole lot of shots. They’re a dangerous team. They can score from a lot of different places and a lot of different guys.”
Corliss Williamson added 22 points off the bench for the Pistons, who shot just under 50 percent (40-of-81). Robinson chipped in 15 points.
Wallace only scored 10 points but dominated in the paint with 19 rebounds and five blocks.
“We knew that Golden State was going to come in here with their game face on and be ready to play,” Wallace said. “We just had to be up for the challenge and match their energy.”
Troy Murphy contributed 17 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors.