Pistons pound Bulls in Game 1
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton each
scored 20 points, and Detroit shut down Ben Gordon, in a 95-69 rout of the
Chicago Bulls in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Pistons nearly had all five starters in double figures again, after
doing so in each of their contests in a first-round sweep of Orlando.
Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince each added 13, while center Chris Webber,
the fifth starter, ended with five.
Gordon, who came into the game averaging 25.5 points in the playoffs, was
limited to seven on 2-of-9 shooting from the field. The Bulls, coming off a
sweep of the defending NBA champion Miami Heat, made 32.9 percent of their
Luol Deng had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Kirk Hinrich scored 15 for the
Bulls, who committed 22 turnovers.
Chicago, on a mission for its first title since 1998, the last of three
straight, was also hurt by a horrendous performance from its bench. Five
reserves combined to shoot 3-of-30.
Ben Wallace, who helped the Pistons to the championship in 2004, had nine
points and eight rebounds for the Bulls.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Monday at The Palace.
Trying to reach the East finals for a fifth straight year, the Pistons led by
13 at the half and by the same amount going into the fourth before making it a
blowout. Rasheed Wallace, Hamilton and Prince hit threes for a 9-0 run at the
start of the period, moving the lead to 79-57 with 10:05 left.
It only got worse for the Bulls. Prince’s jumper extended the lead to 86-60
and Pistons coach Flip Saunders pulled his starters in the final few minutes,
giving Billups a chance to rest his sore ankle.
Detroit used an 11-2 spurt to grab a 20-11 lead. Rasheed Wallace’s three-
pointer capped the flurry midway through the first quarter and the Pistons led
29-23 going into the second.
Jason Maxiell’s dunk moved the advantage to 47-31 before the Bulls responded
with an 8-2 spurt, culminated by Thabo Sefolosha’s two free throws. The
Pistons though widened their lead to 54-41 at the half behind 15 points from
Billups and 13 from Hamilton.
Each team had a lackluster third quarter, but the Bulls were able to get
within eight early before wilting. Hinrich’s three brought the score to 60-52,
but Rasheed Wallace scored four straight and the lead was 70-57 going into the
The Pistons and Bulls are meeting in the playoffs for a sixth time and the
first since 1991.The Pistons hold a 16-14 advantage in the
postseason…Maxiell had 12 points and Antonio McDyess pulled down 10 boards
for Detroit…The Bulls were 5-of-17 from beyond the arc, compared to 8-of-18
for the Pistons, who finished shooting 43.9 percent.