NBA Playoff Roundup
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó The Detroit Pistons beat up Orlando physically and mentally.
They shoved Dwight Howard out of his comfort zone and pushed the Magic’s buttons during heated exchanges, leading to Detroit’s 91-72 win Saturday night in Game 1 of their second-round series.
“Mentally, we have to keep our heads,” Howard said. “Detroit is going to talk and push. We knew that coming in.”
The game got emotional at times, leading to technicals against Rasheed Wallace along with Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis.
“You can’t rattle us,” Wallace said. “We ain’t no punks.”
Howard had a relatively quiet night with 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks after being the first player to score 20 points and grab 20 rebounds in three playoff games since Wilt Chamberlain did it in 1972.
NEW ORLEANS ó Trouble putting out a ring of fire used in a mascot stunt caused a 19-minute delay during Game 1 of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Hornets second round playoff series Saturday night.
The delay occurred between the first and second quarter after Super Hugo, a Hornets mascot who uses a trampoline to dunk a basketball, soared through a large hoop that had been set ablaze before slamming the ball through the basket.
While Super Hugo celebrated the success of his stunt, workers struggled to put out the fire with a carbon dioxide extinguisher, then had to douse the fire with foam extinguishers for several seconds before it would go out.
At press time, the Hornets led the defending NBA champions 78-71 early in the fourth quarter.