Friday , May , 18 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, & Detroit Pistons Advance To Eastern Finals, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng & Chicago Bulls Eliminated

The Detroit Pistons are back … After going MIA for the past two games, the Pistons beat the Bulls 95-85 to win their Eastern Conference semifinal series … Motown will face the winner of the Cavs-Nets series. Get your re-cap and reaction here …

What happened: Last night, the put the NBA on notice: their vacation is over.

The Pistons played tough defense and hit timely shots to win the first three games of their second round playoff series against  the Bulls.

Instead of closing out the series, Detroit, like they have in the past, relaxed and let Chicago win the next two games.

But the Pistons regained their focus in game six, beating the Bulls 95-85 to win the series 4-2.

With the win, Detroit becomes only the third team to appear in five straight Eastern Conference finals.

The Pistons, who had four players score in double-figures, were paced by ’s 23 points, while added 21 points and seven assists. scored 17 points to go with nine rebounds. posted a double-double, tallying 16 points and 13 rebounds.

led the Bulls with 20 points. had 19 points, while had 17.

The Pistons play the winner of the Cavaliers-Nets series. Game one of the Eastern Conference finals is scheduled for either Monday or Wednesday in Detroit.

Reaction of Detroit guard Chauncey Billups on winning the series in Chicago:
"In a strange sort of way it always feels better to close it out on the road. That silence, like church.” (ESPN)

Reaction of Detroit forward Tayshaun Prince on closing out the series in six games:
"We never talked about having a Game 7. We wanted to really make a statement with this game." (ESPN)

Reaction of Chicago forward Luol Deng
on the importance of staying focused when playing Detroit:
"When you play a team like Detroit, they are going to play you every minute. They can beat you in a very short span." (CNNSI)

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