MILWAUKEE, April 24 (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups
and Richard Hamilton
made sure the Detroit Pistons quickly regained home-court
advantage from the Milwaukee Bucks.
NBA TV highlights from|
Billups scored 21 points, Hamilton had 17 and both hit key free
throws down the stretch as the Pistons defeated the Bucks 95-85 to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference
Detroit's Ben Wallace scored 13 points and hauled in 21 rebounds.|
Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images
added 16 points, Ben Wallace
chipped in 13 and
21 rebounds and Rasheed Wallace
had 10 and 11 for third-seeded
Detroit, which had lost home-court advantage in the best-of-seven
series Wednesday with a 92-88 setback.
"It's huge," Billups said. "That's what we set out to do. It's
been a miserable couple days for us, giving up home-court
advantage, and we wanted to come out here today and take care of
business. And we did that."
Detroit trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, which
ended with the Bucks holding a 49-42 lead. But the Pistons
opened the second half with a 23-4 spurt, taking a 65-53 lead on
a three-point play by Billups with 6:08 left.
"We were playing in spurts (in the first half), but we weren't
making the simple plays. We were trying to make the fantastic
plays early on," Ben Wallace said. "Coming into the third
quarter, we made simple plays, we passed the ball and let the
other guy make a play -- that's playing basketball."
Milwaukee pulled within 85-84 on a dunk by Joe Smith
to play in the fourth quarter, but Hamilton made a pair of free
throws 17 seconds later, then sank two more with 3:28 remaining
to open an 89-84 cushion.
Prince blocked a layup attempt by Brevin Knight
, was fouled and
sank two free throws to make it 91-84 with 3:08 left, and
Milwaukee got no closer than six points thereafter.
Billups closed the scoring by going 4-of-4 from the line in the
final 31.2 seconds.
"We knew we were in the bonus and we wanted to get to the
basket," said Billups, whose team did not make a basket over the
final 5:34. "Even if we had a wide-open jumper, we wanted to
get to the basket."
"It's really frustrating," Bucks guard Michael Redd
the most part, we played solid defense. They went to the
free-throw line a lot in the fourth quarter. I think that's one
of the things that really killed us."
The Pistons committed 12 first-half turnovers but had just six
after the break.
"In the second half, I thought we executed a lot better and did
get the ball inside," Detroit coach Larry Brown
defense picked up when we started making shots because then we
got to set our defense up even though we didn't turn the ball
Redd and Desmond Mason
scored 19 points apiece to pace
Milwaukee, which was outrebounded, 52-36.
The Bucks continued their momemtum from Game 2 early in the
contest, jumping out to a 23-11 lead on a 3-pointer by Damon Jones
. The advantage was 30-22 after one period.
But the end of the game did not go nearly as well for Milwaukee,
which missed its final nine shots and scored just one point in
the final 4:20.
"We had shots at the basket," Bucks coach Terry Porter
"We had some open shots, we just did not make them."
Game 4 is Monday in Milwaukee.
"We're closer than what people think we are," Redd said. "It's
obvious when we stole the game down there and it went right down
to the wire tonight. We'll just bounce back."