MILWAUKEE, April 26 (Ticker) --
The NBA's best defensive team is on the
verge of advancing in the playoffs after a dominant offensive
NBA TV highlights from|
scored 27 points and Rasheed Wallace
and nine rebounds as the Pistons took a 3-1 lead in their
Eastern Conference first-round series against the Milwaukee
Bucks with a 109-92 victory.
Rasheed Wallace and the Pistons now hold a two-game series lead.|
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/NBAE
Detroit is considered a contender because of its suffocating
defense but beat high-scoring Milwaukee at its own game. The
Pistons shot 57 percent (41-of-72) from the floor after shooting
under 43 percent in the first three games of the series.
"I don't think we can play better," Detroit coach Larry Brown
said. "I think we did about as good as we've played all year
and I think we needed that kind of effort."
Hamilton made 10-of-17 shots and Chauncey Billups
points on 6-of-10 shooting and dished out nine assists.
was 8-of-11 from the floor and finished with 17
Detroit was clinging to a 71-68 lead late in the third quarter
before scoring 18 of the next 25 points. Rasheed Wallace had
six points and Hamilton added five during the spurt, capping it
with a layup for an 89-75 cushion with 6 1/2 minutes to go.
Milwaukee rallied within seven with two minutes remaining, but
Prince answered with a 3-pointer and Detroit made all eight of
its free throws in the final 69 seconds.
The Pistons essentially won the game from the line, where they
made their final 17 attempts to cap a 20-of-21 performance.
scored 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting and dished out
10 assists against his former team for Milwaukee, which lost
both games at home after splitting the two at Detroit.
"It was b-i-g for us to come in here and do that," Wallace said.
"We just had to stick to our game plan. We watched film and
went over some of their key plays in practice, and we just had
to come in and execute."
"It's very disappointing to us because we've played extremely
well all year in this building against quality opponents,"
Milwaukee coach Terry Porter
said. "That is very disappointing,
not being able to come back home and get one of these games."
collected 17 points and 12 rebounds and Toni Kukoc
scored 15 points off the bench for the Bucks, who committed 16
turnovers that led to 28 points for the Pistons.
"We gave them too many easy opportunities. We gave them 28
points," Porter said. "You just cannot do that. Whenever we do
that, we really struggle."
The Bucks averaged 98 points during the regular season but are
managing just 86 per game against Detroit.
All-Star Michael Redd
continued to struggle, scoring just 12
points on 5-of-19 shooting and committing four turnovers.
Detroit hosts Game 5 on Thursday.