AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 26 (Ticker)
has made the
defending world champion Detroit Pistons even more formidable.
McDyess had his second straight solid effort off the bench with
12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks as the Pistons posted
a 99-84 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers and took a 2-0 lead
in their Eastern Conference first-round series.
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In his first season with the Pistons, McDyess has been a major
factor through two playoff games. The seven-year veteran, who
adds depth to an already formidable frontcourt, made 7-of-9
shots, scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the series
opener on Saturday.
In this one, McDyess made 6-of-10 shots and again provided a
huge spark midway through the second quarter. Philadelphia led,
33-29, with 5:41 left in the half when McDyess buried
After a free throw by Allen Iverson
- who endured a poor
shooting performance - put the 76ers back on top, Detroit's
had a three-point play and Chauncey Billups
made two free throws. McDyess then capped the 11-1 spurt with a
jumper with 3:01 remaining.
"It was the same as last game, come off the bench and give us
some energy, pick up where the starters left off," McDyess said.
"My job is to give us some defense and rebounding and take
what they give me on offense."
"When you have someone of his quality offensively in the low
post and his spot-up jump shot, it's very difficult to guard,"
Philadelphia coach Jim O'Brien
said. "You can't take a breath.
... They have great depth and a number of ways to score the
basketball and he just gives them a sixth guy out there that is
very difficult for our guys to handle."
The oft-injured McDyess is enjoying his first taste of the
postseason since 1998.
"There were a lot of times that I never thought I'd be here
(because of his injuries)," he said. "I thought maybe I'd
retire before I ever got a chance to win a championship. I feel
blessed to have the opportunity to play with the defending
champs. That's why I leave everything on the court."
McDyess' teammates voiced their appreciation.
"It means a lot to have a guy like Dice to come off the bench
and be big on both ends of the floor," Detroit center Ben Wallace
"McDyess is huge the way he comes off the bench," Hamilton
added. "He's done it in both games. He's an All-Star. The
things he does don't surprise anybody on this team."
Philadelphia got within three points on two occasions in the
third quarter but never could get over the hump. Trailing,
53-50, midway through the period, Philadelphia saw Detroit's
bury consecutive 3-pointers to open the
advantage to nine points.
Detroit closed the third quarter with a 16-7 burst that opened a
69-57 advantage. Philadelphia never got closer than 12 over
the last 12 minutes.
"It's been tough," Iverson said. "The whole series, so far, we
can't stop them. We've got to come up with something, some new
scheme, some new idea to stop them. Whenever we need stops to
cut into the lead, whenever we get the lead down a little bit,
they score. If we don't get stops, we can't beat them."
Iverson shot just 7-of-24 from the field, finishing with 19
points and 10 assists. Chris Webber
added 15 points but made
just 7-of-18 shots as Detroit turned up its defensive intensity,
registering 10 blocks and altering countless other shots.
"I missed a hundred layups tonight and I just couldn't get it
going," Iverson said. "When I'm playing real bad, I understand
that I might get an opportunity to erase this whole game with a
big play or something. I couldn't find it tonight, but I'm
keeping on fighting, and hopefully the effort I give, something
positive can come out of it."
had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers,
who shot 37 percent (32-for-87) from the field.
Hamilton scored 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting and Billups added
20 for the Pistons, who have won 21 of their last 23 games at
The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The best-of-seven series switches to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Friday.
"We came in with the idea of protecting our home court," Detroit
guard Lindsey Hunter
said. "Now we have to go to Philadelphia
with the same mind set."
"I don't think the playoffs start until somebody loses at home,"
said Detroit coach Larry Brown
, who led the Sixers to the NBA
Finals in 2001. "We took care of our home court. I'm thankful
for the way we're trying to defend and share the ball. It just
has to be more obvious when we play in Philadelphia if we're
going to control the series."