Wednesday , May , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pistons ‘Rip’ Bucks, advance to semis

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Richard Hamilton scored a career playoff-
high 40 points in just three quarters of action as the Detroit Pistons moved
on to the Eastern Conference semifinal round for the sixth straight year with
a 122-93 thumping of the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of their first-round set at
The Palace.

Hamilton shot 15-of-23 from the floor for the top-seeded Pistons, who will
next face eight fourth-seeded Cleveland or fifth-seeded Washington. Hamilton,
whose nickname is Rip, scored 15 first-quarter points and added 16 points in
the third, as Detroit controlled this game from the outset.

Rasheed Wallace added 22 points and seven rebounds and Chauncey Billups had 17
points, eight assists and five rebounds for Detroit, which is the two-time
defending conference champion and has played in three straight conference
championship series. The Pistons’ average margin of victory in this series was
17 points.

“We really wanted to come out here and take care of business at home,” said
Hamilton. “We knew they were going to come and play tough because they played
us tough all series. It was important for us to try to get a win so that we
can get some rest and try to watch some other teams beat each other up. So I
think we really took care of business.”

Michael Redd had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bucks, who have been
eliminated in the first round of the postseason in three straight appearances.

The Pistons built a lead in the first quarter and carried that momentum the
rest of the way.

Down 14-12, Wallace sparked a 24-4 run with a three-pointer near the midway
mark of the stanza. Hamilton had nine points during the run, scoring 15 in
total during the quarter, as Detroit surged to a 36-18 lead when Billups hit a
trey with 1:14 to play to cap the burst.

Detroit went into the second with a 39-23 lead courtesy of Tayshaun Prince’s
half-court heave at the buzzer.

Milwaukee, though, drew within nine points a number of times during the
second, the final time coming on a pair of Redd free throws with just over
three minutes remaining, 53-44. However, the Pistons scored nine of the final
14 points of the quarter to regain a double-digit lead going into halftime,

In the third, the Pistons put the game well out of reach by outscoring the
Bucks 35-17 during the 12-minute quarter. Hamilton and Wallace spearheaded the
Pistons during the quarter, with Wallace scoring 11 points during an 18-2 run
to start the quarter. Hamilton had 16 points in the frame, scoring the final
12 points of the quarter for the Piston, who carried a comfortable 97-66 lead
into the fourth.

“That’s not what we wanted to start off the game,” said Redd. “We definitely
started sluggish, down, and in this game you have to play like a madman
against a great team. We didn’t do that and they made us pay for it.”

The final quarter was purely academic. Detroit pulled its starters early in
the stanza and cruised to the finish.

Prince had 12 points for the Pistons, who have won seven of their last eight
home games in the playoffs.

T.J. Ford and Andrew Bogut were held to 10 points each for the Bucks.

“This is going to leave a sour taste, but it would do that if you lose in the
first round or the finals,” said Bogut.

Game Notes

The Pistons improved to 14-3 all-time versus the Bucks in the
postseason…Detroit has also won 11 of its last 12 elimination
games…Antonio McDyess had 11 points and six rebounds for Detroit…Dan
Gadzuric had 12 points in the fourth quarter for Milwaukee.