AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 14 (Ticker) -- Brian Scalabrine
unlikeliest hero for the New Jersey Nets on a night full of
Scalabrine scored a career-high 17 points, including a key
3-pointer with 41 seconds left in triple-overtime, as the Nets
outlasted the Detroit Pistons, 127-120, in pivotal Game 5 of
their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
New Jersey survived the fourth game in NBA playoff history to go
at least three overtimes and took a 3-2 lead in the
best-of-seven series. The Nets can complete their comeback from
a 2-0 deficit at home on Sunday.
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Brian Scalabrine scored nine of his 17 points in overtime in Game 5.
Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Scalabrine entered with a total of 19 points in his postseason
career but was called upon in a game that saw four Nets and four
Pistons foul out. His 3-pointer off a feed from Richard Jefferson
in the third extra period opened a 122-118 advantage
with 41 seconds to go.
"I'm not surprised, because basketball players always believe in
themselves," Scalabrine said. "It was just great to even be
part of a game like this. Every time we went to another
overtime, and I think there were at least six, I thought,
'Great, I get to play five more minutes.'"
"You have to feel good for a guy like Brian," Nets coach
Lawrence Frank said. "He doesn't get a lot of chances, but he
works hard and has a passion for the game, and he's always ready
when we need him. He's been a factor in every game that he's
played in this series, and we couldn't have won tonight without
Jefferson finished with 31 points, including 18 after
"We were just playing through Richard and he delivered," Frank
said. "He played all that time with five fouls, too."
Trailing, 123-120, the Pistons had one last chance after New
Jersey's Lucious Harris
threw an inbounds pass to Detroit's
with 15 seconds left. Instead of racing in for a
layup, Hunter found Chauncey Billups
, whose 3-pointer was off
with 12 seconds to go.
"I'm not going to second-guess Lindsey on that one," Pistons
coach Larry Brown said. "We were in terrible foul trouble and
Chauncey had already hit some big shots. I thought he made the
Billups gave the Pistons life when he banked in a 40-footer at
the end of regulation to forge an 88-88 tie. New Jersey
seemingly had the game won but missed 3-of-4 foul shots in the
final 13 seconds of the fourth quarter to leave open the door.
"We had a chance to put it away from the line, and we didn't do
it," said Nets guard Jason Kidd
, who missed two free throws and
had 16 points and eight rebounds. "But we've been there before
and we just kept playing."
The draining game featured 13 players with at least 10 points
and 83 fouls, a record for a postseason game since the advent of
the 24-second shot clock.
Billups was the only Pistons starter who did not foul out and
just missed a triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and
"It's tough to lose a game like that, a game that long with that
many lead changes and that kind of emotion," said Billups, who
logged 55 minutes. "We've been down before and we just have to
go out there Sunday and try to win and get back here."
Each team had chances to win in the first two overtimes.
Billups missed a long jumper to close the first extra period and
New Jersey's Kerry Kittles
misfired on a jumper near the end of