Chauncey Billups & Pistons Win A Comeback Thriller, Chicago Bulls Blow Big Lead
The Detroit Pistons came back from a 19-point deficit to win game three over the Chicago Bulls. … Did the Pistons win the game? Or did the Bulls choke? … Read about Detroit’s fine play and Chicago’s struggles on the offensive end. … All this plus some game four adjustments for the Bulls …
What Happened: In games one and two, the Bulls got blown out. And in game three, they blew a big lead.
The came back from a 19-point deficit to defeat the Chicago Bulls 81-74 in game three of their Eastern Conference semifinals series.
The Pistons were down 44-28 at halftime. They also trailed 49-30 and 55-38 in the third quarter.
and led the comeback for Detroit. Prince had 23 points to go with 11 rebounds, while Billups scored 21 points and dished out seven assists. and Rasheed Wallace each had 16 points.
The Bulls established an early lead by playing great defense, which allowed them to go on an impressive 22-6 second quarter run.
However, things fell apart for Chicago in the second-half. They turned the ball over 10 times and got out-rebounded by a hungrier Detroit squad.
The Bulls once again struggled with their shooting. scored a team-high 21 points for the Bulls, but only made 8-of-22 shots from the floor. tallied 16 points, connecting on just 4-of-16 attempts, while had 13 points, going 5-for-16 from the floor.
The Pistons have a 3-0 series advantage. They’ll try to complete the sweep on Sunday night at the United Center.
Reaction of Detroit guard Chauncey Billups on the comeback:
"I was encouraged. We knew at the start of the game we allowed them to take the first punch and we weren’t as aggressive as we should have been. It was our defensive pressure. It allowed us to get in the passing lanes, get steals. We had settled too much. In the second half we got aggressive and played Piston basketball." (ESPN)
Reaction of Detroit coach Flip Saunders on the importance of winning game three:
"It’s always tough, the first playoff game when you go play in the other team’s arena, the crowd is excited. If you win Game 3 there is a pretty good chance you’re going to sweep a lot of times. It’s tough to sweep series." (CNNSI)
My Take: I think this is an especially tough loss for the Bulls to swallow. In Detroit, they got embarrassed. But they were up 19 points and should have won tonight’s game. No excuses.
Chicago coach Scott Skiles has to re-consider his decision to shorten the bench. He’s making a mistake trying to find out if his top seven players can play with Detroit’s top seven players. The Bulls can’t match-up here. So Skiles has to start looking for any possible match-up that favors Chicago.
Here’s a few ideas:
1) When the Bulls go through lapses, like the third quarter of Thursday’s game, he should play Tyrus Thomas. The young forward’s athleticism can provide a much-needed spark.
2) Thabo Sefolosha has the athleticism to bother Detroit’s guards. He deserves a shot and Chicago really has nothing to lose.
Finally, Skiles has to find a way to get Ben Gordon going. Gordon was huge in the Miami series, but Rip Hamilton and Detroit have had his number so far.
Being down 3-0, Skiles has to come up wtih something and fast. The chances of a comeback are slim. But Skiles is a fighter, so he won’t let the Bulls give up.
Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA blog.