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Billups: Pistons 'have a chance to make a huge leap'

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Chauncey Billups, right, poses for photo with Kennedi Goodley, 12, of Detroit before the game.

Detroit — Chauncey Billups had a sweet homecoming in mind when he returned to Detroit with the Big3 on Friday. One small problem: he was injured and wasn’t able to suit up.

That didn’t stop him from enjoying the experience at Little Caesars Arena and getting a warm reception from 12,702 fans who turned out Friday and adored him during his time with the Pistons in the ‘Goin’ to Work’ era, including the championship season of 2004.

“It’s always good to be here. Everybody knows how much I love this city and love the fans. Obviously, I never had the opportunity to play to play in this building; I wish we played in the city when we were here,” Billups said. “The Palace was good to us; the city was good to us and the fans were good. I’m such a big Pistons fan and such a fiend for the Pistons, that it’s good to be back here.

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“The East is wide open and I’m excited for the team and the new coach and everything.”

Billups, team captain for the Killer 3’s, still keeps an eye on the NBA, including the Pistons, who made big changes with new coach Dwane Casey, looking to build on their nucleus of Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson.

“I don’t speak to many of the guys: (just) Blake and Reggie. They have two All-Stars on their team in Dre and Blake and when Reggie’s healthy, he can play at an All-Star level,” Billups said. “If you have that kind of talent in the Eastern Conference, you should be able to make some noise.

“They have a really good coach and I’m just excited for the squad. They have a chance to make a huge leap, from not making the playoffs at all last year to hopefully being able to make some noise.”

Big3 results

Trilogy 52, Killer 3’s 39: Defending-champion Trilogy utilized their height advantage after Peace’s ejection and leaned on Harrington inside. Harrington finished with 19 points, including three 3-pointers and improved to 1-3. Stephen Jackson had 11 points and Alan Anderson (Michigan State) 10 for the Killer 3’s (1-3).

3-Headed Monsters 50, Tri-State 48: Reggie Evans had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf 14 points, with the pass on the game-winning shot to Qyntel Woods, to keep the Monsters (4-0) unbeaten. David Hawkins (15 points) led Tri-State (3-1).

3’s Company 50, Ball Hogs 40: DerMarr Johnson had 15 points and seven rebounds and Andre Emmett and Baron Davis 10 points each for 3’s Company (3-1). Jermaine Taylor had 14 points for the Ball Hogs (1-3).

Power 50, Ghost Ballers 45: Corey Maggette had 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Power (3-1). Another former Duke star, Carlos Boozer, led the Ghost Ballers (0-4) with 15 points and 16 rebounds.