Billups’ second half pushes Pistons past Bucks
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups scored a game-high 34 points
and dished out six assists to lead the Detroit Pistons over the Milwaukee
Bucks, 109-99, in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round series at the
Billups hit six straight free throws down the stretch and tallied 24 points in
the second half to help the Pistons seal the win and rebound from Game 3’s
embarrassing 124-104 setback. Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince added 18
points each as Detroit took a commanding 3-1 lead and will attempt to close
out this best-of-seven set on Wednesday at the Palace.
Prince, who started a key 8-0 run with the Pistons’ go-ahead basket, also had
eight rebounds and seven assists for the two-time defending conference champs
who have won each game of this set by at least 10 points.
Michael Redd had 33 points on 10-of-17 shooting for the Bucks, who have never
beaten the Pistons in a playoff series. Redd, however, hit just 1-of-5 three-
pointers for Milwaukee, which hit only 4-of-10 as a team compared to Detroit’s
8-of-17 shooting from beyond the arc.
With the Pistons trailing 86-85 after a Joe Smith three-pointer with 5:54
remaining, Prince drained a bucket that started an 8-0 run and gave Detroit
the lead for good. Billups and Hamilton rounded out the surge with a trey
each, with Hamilton capping it with 3:46 on the clock for a 93-86 lead.
Milwaukee drew within 95-93 when Redd drained a pair of free throws with 2 1/2
minutes left, but that would be as close as the Bucks got.
Billups hit a pair of free throws with 1:57 left to make it a 97-93 game.
Then, after Redd misfired on a three 13 seconds later, he fouled Billups
before he could convert a transition layup. Billups drained both for a 99-93
lead and Milwaukee called a time out.
Coming out of the huddle, the Bucks committed the first of two costly
turnovers. On the first, Billups completed his six straight free throws with
two more for a 101-93 cushion with 1:21 left.
Then, Hamilton stole the ball on the Bucks’ ensuing possession, and Rasheed
Wallace drained a baseline jumper with 56.8 left for a 10-point lead, 103-93,
and the Pistons cruised to the finish.
Wallace ended with 12 points for the Pistons, who shot 47.3 percent from the
field for the game and hit 31-of-41 free throws.
T.J. Ford had 21 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Bucks, who hit
55.1 percent of their shots, but went 19-of-28 from the charity stripe.
The Pistons led 27-20 after one quarter and extended to their largest lead at
15 points when Tony Delk drained a three-pointer for a 41-26 cushion midway
through the second quarter.
Milwaukee later responded by scoring seven of the final eight points of the
half to go into the break down 51-45.
The Bucks continued to chip away in the third quarter and finally tied the
game when Ford hit a bucket with just over two minutes left until the
fourth. Redd later hit a jumper to give Milwaukee a 74-72 edge and the
Bucks went into the fourth with a 76-74 edge.
Milwaukee fell to 3-13 all-time in the postseason against Detroit…The
Pistons have won six straight Game 4s…The Bucks have lost five straight Game
4s…Antonio McDyess had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons…Charlie
Bell had 12 points for the Bucks. Smith ended with eight.