Monday , May , 08 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

NBA Playoff Notebook: Pistons are taking care of business

(Sports Network) – Detroit opened its Eastern Conference semifinals series
with an impressive 113-86 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of
Auburn Hills. Tayshaun Prince finished with 24 points and Richard Hamilton
netted 20 for the top-seeded Pistons.

The Pistons, who knocked off the eighth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in five games
in the first round, also got a solid game from Chauncey Billups, who finished
with 14 points and a game-high 10 assists in the victory over the fourth-
seeded Cavaliers.

“We wanted to come out and just be aggressive,” said Billups after Game 1’s
victory. “Game 1 obviously was in our house and we wanted to be aggressive. We
know they just got out of a very tough series and their emotions are high. We
wanted to use it to our advantage.”

Ben Wallace, who scored just two points, grabbed a game-best 11 rebounds and
blocked four shots, while Rasheed Wallace netted 10 and pulled down seven
boards.

Detroit, which shot 51.9 percent from the field including a scorching 68.2
percent from beyond the arc, got some clutch play off the bench from Lindsey
Hunter and Antonio McDyess. Hunter was 4-of-7 from three-point range and ended
with 12 points in just over 17 minutes of action, while McDyess scored 12 on
5-of-7 from the floor.

“Linds (Hunter) was great,” said Billups. “He was aggressive. He took what
they gave him. They really didn’t think that he was going to shoot those shots
and Linds has always been a great shooter.

“Ever since he came into the league, that’s what he was known for. Later on in
his career he became known for his defense, but you can’t forget that he’s
been a prolific scorer all his life. When he gets his opportunities he does
well and he’s a great lift for us.”

The Pistons held the Cavaliers to just 41.5 percent (34-for-82) from the
floor. They won the battle of the boards, 40-37, and blocked nine of
Cleveland’s shots.

Superstar LeBron James, who led the Cavaliers in scoring (35.7 ppg) and
assists (5.7 apg) in round one’s six-game series victory over the Washington
Wizards, pacedCleveland with 22 points and four assists in 36 minutes of court
time. He was 9-for-18 from the floor and committed four turnovers.

“It wasn’t frustrating, it was a bit discouraging – you play defense for 22 or
23 seconds and a guy hits a three at the end of the shot clock,” said James
after Game 1’s loss. “But give much credit to the Pistons. They came out, took
care of business on their home court and thats what its about.”

The Pistons are all about this time of year. They have appeared in the
conference finals in three straight years, and have represented the East in
the NBA Finals the last two seasons. They are simply just taking care of
business against the Cavaliers.

CLE DET