NBA: Pistons catch break in Game 2
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó The Detroit Pistons took advantage of what seemed to be a little help from the scorerís table and went on beat the Orlando Magic.
Chauncey Billups scored 28 points, three on a disputed shot at the end of the third quarter, and Detroit got past Orlando for a 100-93 win Monday night and a 2-0 lead in the second-round series.
iItís tough to be on the other end of that play,î Billups said. iBut Iíll take it.î
Billups officially made a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in the third, ending a play that started with 5.1 seconds and seemed to take a fraction of a second longer using replays the officials didnít use during a five-minute delay.
The shot put Detroit ahead 78-76.
Lead official Steve Javie declined to be interviewed by a pool reporter during a timeout, and ignored another reporter shouting to speak with him after the game ended.
iThey had to estimate how much time (was left) and they estimated 4.6 seconds,î Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. iThatís almost funny.
iWhat can you do? They were put in a very tough situation on that call.î
Even though TNT ó a broadcast partner of the NBA ó had the ability to show a real-time replay with a clock superimposed on the screen, the leagueís replay rules donít allow for reviewing a play to determine when the clock started.
iSteve Javie told me that with the technology they have, they should be able to go over and look at that,î Van Gundy said. iThey did not have that available. He was frustrated by that ó probably not quite as much as us.î
The Magic still had a chance to win after trailing by 14 in the first half.
Orlando had the ball down by two points late in the game, but Rashard Lewis missed a running scoop shot, Dwight Howard just missed on a putback and Hedo Turkoglu couldnít grab the offensive rebound.
Magic reserve Keyon Dooling fouled Richard Hamilton before the ensuing pass was made from the sideline, giving Detroit a free throw ó made by Hamilton ó and the ball.
Billups then made two free throws to put Detroit ahead by five points with 10.9 seconds left to seal the win.
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night in Orlando.
The Magic likely head home bitter about a call that went against them and some strong performances that went all for naught.
Howard bounced back from a lackluster game with 22 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks.
Jameer Nelson scored 22 points, making five 3-pointers, before fouling out with 1:23 left in the game, hacking Hamilton and putting him on the line down by two points.
Lewis overcame a slow start to score 20 points. Maurice Evans had 13 points and Turkoglu added 12, putting each of the Magicís starters in double figures.
Detroit had a balanced attack, too.
Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince scored 17 points apiece, and Prince added 10 rebounds and five assists. Jason Maxiell was a threat as a shooter for the second straight game, adding 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
The Magic got back to their game of driving and kicking for 3-pointers, making seven of their 11 3s during a 36-point third quarter that got them into the game.
But Turkoglu, Lewis and Howard combined for 17 of Orlandoís 19 turnovers, ending many promising possessions with wild passes and bad hands.
The score was tied at 29 after the first quarter, then Detroit outscored Orlando by 10 in the second period to earn a cushion at halftime.
Orlando quickly got back into the game in the third quarter, only to be demoralized by the timerís slow trigger finger and the questionable decision by the officiating crew.
Notes: Detroitís post players got into foul trouble guarding Howard, leading to Antonio McDyess fouling out with 3:50 left in the game. McDyess had six points and eight rebounds. … The Pistons have won nine straight playoff games against Orlando, including last yearís sweep in the first round and a rally from a 3-1 deficit in the opening round of the 2003 playoffs.