Pistons pump past Bucks in Game 4
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Richard Hamilton scored a game-high 27 points and Rasheed Wallace added 20, leading Detroit to a 109-92 win over Milwaukee in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at the Bradley Center.
Chauncey Billups had 19 points and nine assists, while Tayshaun Prince posted 17 points for the Pistons, who own a comfortable 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven set and will try to move on in the playoffs with a victory in Game 5 on Thursday in Auburn Hills.
"We all wanted the rock," Wallace said after the game. Detroit made 57 percent of their shots and sank 20-of-21 from the line to seal the win.
Damon Jones and Joe Smith both had 17 points for the Bucks. Jones also had a game-high 10 assists and Toni Kukoc chipped in 15 points off the bench as Milwaukee shot just 45 percent for the game.
An alley-oop dunk by Prince gave the Pistons a 58-53 lead almost four minutes into the third quarter. Prince then pushed Detroit's lead to 64-55 on a layup midway through the quarter.
Jones later buried a three-pointer for Milwaukee to trim the lead to four at 66-62. The remainder of the period was tight throughout with the Pistons clinging to a 74-68 lead after 36 minutes of action.
Mehmet Okur gave the Pistons their largest lead at 82-70 on a short jumper early in the fourth quarter. After the Bucks scored five in a row to pull within seven, Detroit went on a 7-0 run to grab an 89-75 advantage.
Milwaukee continued to run and posted six straight for an 89-81 score. Jones had the hot hand for the Bucks and his jumper made it 95-88. Prince quieted the crowd with a three-pointer for a 10-point Detroit edge and the Pistons had no trouble the rest of the way.
"It's tough to make a run," Smith said, "when you're constantly taking the ball out of the net."
Keith Van Horn's basket minutes into the game staked Milwaukee to an 11-4 lead. The Pistons countered with a 12-5 run to even the score at 16 apiece. Van Horn and Hamilton would exchange three-pointers, keeping the game tied. Detroit then led by a 28-27 score after 12 minutes.
Hamilton led all scorers with 11 points, while Van Horn and Michael Redd both had seven for Milwaukee after the first quarter.
The game continued to be tight in the second quarter until the Pistons grabbed a 39-34 lead on an Okur basket midway through the stanza. After the Bucks scored four straight to pull within one, Wallace buried a three for a 42-38 Detroit lead.
"We just had to stick to our game plan," Wallace added. "We watched film and went over some of their key plays in practice, and we just had to come in and execute."
Jones later brought Milwaukee even at 44-44 on a three-pointer from the left wing with 3 1/2 minutes to go before halftime. Detroit then carried a 52-49 lead into the locker room.
Hamilton scored only two points in the second quarter but had a game-high 13 at halftime. Kukoc, meanwhile, paced the Bucks with nine points.
"We gave them too many easy opportunities," Milwaukee head coach Terry Porter said. "We gave them 28 points (off turnovers). You just cannot do that. Whenever we do that, we really struggle."DET MIL