AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 3 (Ticker) --
The Detroit Pistons have
not forgotten last year's playoffs.
The Pistons held the New Jersey Nets to the second-lowest point
total in NBA playoff history and rolled to a 78-56 rout in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
New Jersey swept Detroit in last season's conference finals, but
the tables were turned in the playoff rematch. The Nets barely
eclipsed the dubious mark of 54 points, set by the Utah Jazz
against the Chicago Bulls in the 1998 NBA Finals.
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Tayshaun Prince continues to step up his game in the playoffs.
Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images
"Last year, they came in and got the best of us in four games.
It was very important for us to get this first game, and to play
the way that we played," Detroit forward Tayshaun Prince
"By what they did to us last year, we knew what they're capable
New Jersey shot a team record-low 27 percent (19-of-70) and
shattered its previous playoff worst of 76 points, set in a
victory over Detroit in the opener of last year's series.
"They haven't changed defense one bit from the way they played
during the regular season, and we didn't shoot 27 percent in
those games," New Jersey forward Kenyon Martin
said. "We missed
shots that we normally knock down. You're not going to win any
games when you shoot like that."
"I take a lot of the responsibility with the play-calling, but
we'll find a way to get better," Nets coach Lawrence Frank
"Tonight they were the better team and you have to give their
defense credit, but it's just one game."
The Pistons had a 37-27 lead after the lowest-scoring first half
in postseason history, then pulled away in the third quarter.
Prince scored six points during a 22-3 stretch that gave Detroit
a 55-34 cushion, and New Jersey never recovered.
Prince finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Ben Wallace
collected 13 and 11 for the Pistons, who had an overwhelming
48-29 edge on the glass.
Detroit was hardly dominant offensively, scoring 20 points or
fewer in each quarter. It shot 48 percent (30-of-63) from the
floor and outscored New Jersey in the paint, 32-16.
scored 15 points, but Jason Kidd, Martin and
combined for just 28 on 9-of-36 shooting as
the Nets had their 14-game postseason winning streak against
Eastern Conference opponents snapped.
"I think the whole Eastern Conference needed this win," Pistons
coach Larry Brown
said. "It's unbelievable what they've done.
I laugh at people talking about all the great teams and they
never mention the Nets and what they've done. Fourteen playoff
games in a row and three series (sweeps), that's pretty
Kidd collected nine points, seven rebounds and six assists,
Martin scored 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting and Jefferson made
just 1-of-12 shots en route to eight points.
New Jersey had just 25 points at halftime and 39 points through
three quarters -- both franchise records.
Game 2 is Friday at Detroit.