Sunday , May , 30 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Pistons try to keep pace in Game 5

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – The top-seeded Indiana Pacers welcome the
Detroit Pistons to Conseco Fieldhouse for the crucial Game 5 of the best-of-
seven Eastern Conference finals.

On Friday, Ron Artest scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead a well-
balanced Indiana attack, as the Pacers defeated the third-seeded Pistons,
83-68, in Game 4 of the set at The Palace. Reggie Miller rebounded from two
straight poor performances to score 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting for the
Pacers, who regained homecourt advantage by tying the series set at two games

Austin Croshere started his first postseason game and scored 14 points for
Indiana, which finally broke the 80-point plateau in this series. All-Star
Jermaine O’Neal overcame a sprained left knee suffered in the first half to
score 12 points, grab 13 rebounds and block four shots in the victory for the
Pacers, whose starting front court outscored their counterparts by 35 points.

Richard Hamilton had a game-high 22 points for the Pistons, while Chauncey
Billups scored 21 points and dished out a team-high five assists in the loss.
Tayshaun Prince was scoreless in 32 minutes of action for Detroit.

Game 6 is scheduled for Tuesday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Pistons have won four of their last six Game 5s in the postseason, while
the Pacers have won four of their last five game 5s in the playoffs.

This is the second time that these two teams have met in the postseason. In
1990, Detroit swept the Pacers, 3-0, in the first round.

The Pacers, who are appearing in the playoffs for the 14th time in 15 seasons,
are 6-1 at home in this year’s playoffs.

Indiana, which had been eliminated three straight year’s in the first round,
last appeared in the Eastern Conference finals in 2000 when it defeated the
New York Knicks in six games. The Pacers would go on to lose in the NBA Finals
to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Pacers are 1-4 all-time in Eastern Conference final series. Indiana fell
in seven games to the Knicks in 1994, lost in seven contests to the Orlando
Magic in 1995, was eliminated once again in seven games by the Chicago Bulls
in 1998 and was dismissed in six contests by New York in 1999.

The Pistons are 4-3 as the visitor in this year’s playoffs. Detroit has been
swept in its last two trips to the conference finals. In 1991, Michael Jordan
and the Chicago Bulls ousted the Pistons, who were also swept by New Jersey
last year. Detroit is 3-3 all-time in the conference finals.

The last time the Pistons won a conference finals series was in 1990, when
Detroit eliminated the Bulls in seven games. The Pistons would go on to defeat
the Portland Trail Blazers in five games in the NBA Finals, which gave them
the second of consecutive championships.