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Trio of stars carry Pistons over Kings

Ah, nothing like returning home after getting whooped on the road. The Pistons had their way with the Kings on Wednesday, coasting to a 109-98 win on the heels of outstanding individual efforts from a trio of starters.

Ben Wallace still hasn't figured out his exact role in the offense (he finished with five points off 2-5 shooting), but he turned in his best rebounding performance of the season with 17 boards, not to mention three assists, four steals and five blocks. Rip Hamilton was firing on all cylinders with 36 points, helping Chauncey Billups rack up 19 -- count 'em! -- 19 assists. He was setting guys up all night, including a reverse alley-oop to Rasheed and a "no, he's too far to dunk that-- OH MY GOD HE JUST DUNKED THAT!" alley-oop to Ben Wallace.

But Billups did more than just collect dimes, as he also scored 28 points on 10-15 shooting, including 6-8 from three-point land. It was easily one of the most impressive performances by an NBA player this season. People, do your part and vote him into the All-Star game, it's long overdue.

I missed the first quarter, listened to the second on the radio and watched the second half at a bar, so I wasn't paying close enough attention to pick up on Sacramento's odd use of the bench. Looking at the box score now, I see none of the starters played more than 32 minutes and five reserves played at least 13. What happened? The Kings played their fourth game in five nights, that's what happened.

Next up: Chicago on Friday, in a game that might get a little chippy if the Bulls still hold a grudge for Rasheed's antics earlier this month.

Pistons 109, Kings 98 box score [ESPN]