NBA Playoffs: Pistons 105, 76ers 88
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó The Detroit Pistons looked a lot like the team that reached the last five Eastern Conference finals.
Rasheed Wallace scored 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter and had plenty of help at both ends of the court in a 105-88 series-evening victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
“They were clicking everywhere,” Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala said. “Those are the Detroit Pistons that we expect to see.”
The Sixers took advantage of Detroit’s lackluster focus in the first-round opener, rallying from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter for a 90-86 win.
“We were disappointed, upset and mad about what happened,” Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. “Our players responded.”
Wallace led the way with another good game against his hometown Sixers.
Unlike the series opener, a few Detroit starters helped him out.
Wallace was one of four Pistons scoring in double figures as they took a 17-point halftime lead, while the 76ers had only Andre Miller, who scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half.
Detroit refused to let the young Sixers come back again.
The Pistons played with a sense of urgency, swarming Philadelphia on defense and relentlessly going after offensive rebounds for extra scoring opportunities.
“When they did miss, they beat us to the boards and got second-chance points,” Iguodala said.
Chauncey Billups made a 3-pointer early in the third ó his first field goal ó and made another from beyond the arc later in the quarter to put Detroit ahead 73-47.
The Pistons didn’t have any trouble holding onto the lead.
“We were focused, really locked in on what we had to do,” Billups said. “We got off to a quick start and we never let up. All five starters played good, and we all shot the ball well. That makes us tough.”