Prince, Pistons force Game 6 with Heat
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Tayshaun Prince scored a career playoff-
high 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Detroit Pistons again staved
off elimination, defeating the Miami Heat, 91-78, in Game 5 of the Eastern
Conference finals at The Palace.
Chauncey Billups added 17 points and 10 assists and Richard Hamilton had 16
points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who are 3-0 in elimination games this
postseason and 11-2 in their last 13 games when facing a postseason exit.
Antonio McDyess had 12 points for Detroit, which will travel to Miami for Game
6 on Friday to try and continue their improbable backs-to-the-wall play. The
Pistons were down three games to two to the Cavaliers in the conference
semifinal round before rallying to win the final two games.
Dwyane Wade had 23 points for the Heat, who failed in their initial attempt to
advance to the franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals. Wade hit 11-of-20 shots from
the floor, but went 0-for-3 from three and only 1-for-3 from the free throw
line. In Game 4, he attempted 19 free throws in Miami’s 89-78 victory.
With the game tied at 51-51 early in the third quarter, the Pistons went ahead
for good with a 9-2 run. Prince scored four points during the surge, which was
capped by a Ben Wallace three-point play with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.
Miami later drew within four points, 62-58, on an Antoine Walker three-pointer
with just over five minutes left in the stanza. However, Detroit doubled that
advantage by scoring eight of the next 11 points. Prince’s three with two
minutes to play made it a 69-61 contest and Detroit cruised into the fourth
with a 73-65 advantage.
The Heat opened the fourth with a 9-4 burst to draw within 77-74. O’Neal and
Wade combined to score all nine points during the run for Miami, with O’Neal
hitting 1-of-2 from the line to cap the spurt.
However, Miami never got any closer than three points as Detroit later used a
12-2 run to end the game and put this one out of reach. Leading 79-76 and with
the ball, Billups drove the lane and had his shot rejected by O’Neal. The
loose ball, though, went right to Prince, who drained a three-pointer with
4:30 left to start the surge. Detroit hit 9-of-10 free throws during the run
as the final score represented the end of the run.