The frustration streamed out of Chauncey Billups, the Detroit Pistons' veteran point guard who knows how to finish close games but keeps watching his team lose them.

Whether Billups is sound enough of body to avert this course consistently is a separate question, but Sunday's 111-109 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, after another fourth-quarter debacle, struck his competitive nerve.

"My hope is that we can continue to learn from every loss and how we lost the game, just that we can learn from it, man, quit losing the same way," Billups said. "Granted, that's a good team. That's a good team. But in my opinion, we had this game won and we gave it to them.

"You can look at it two different ways. We were competing against one of the best teams in the league, did a really good job, gave it away. Or you can look at it the way that I look at it, and that's just we're just not getting better in the fourth quarter."

The Pistons led 84-73 through three quarters before they stopped running offense through Josh Smith, who scored 31 points.

Smith attempted just one field goal in the fourth quarter and overtime, to 15 by Brandon Jennings and Rodney Stuckey, and on the other end of the floor a barrage of Portland second-chance points sank the Pistons.

"The fourth quarter is a different game," Billups said. "No matter what has happened, the fourth quarter is just a different game. And I think the best players are very good in the fourth quarter."

Jennings was 2 of 8 from the floor, with two turnovers, in the fourth quarter and overtime.