AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons could
use some of last year's home-court magic to turn around their
struggles in the NBA Finals.
After dropping the first two games of the series, the defending
champs host the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three on Tuesday.
One year ago, Detroit became the only team to win the middle
three games of the NBA Finals since the 2-3-2 format was
instituted in 1984. The Pistons swept their three contests here
against the Los Angeles Lakers to capture their third NBA
San Antonio has shown why it was the league's top defensive
squad (88.4) this season by holding the Pistons to an average of
fewer than 73 points in the first two contests. After trailing
17-4 early in Game One, the Spurs have outscored Detroit by 49
Manu Ginobili scored 15 of his 27 points in the second half and
led five players in double figures as the Spurs posted a 97-76
victory over the Pistons on Sunday.
Tim Duncan scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Bruce
Bowen added 15 for San Antonio, which shot 59 percent (20-of-34)
from the floor in the first half.
Although the Pistons were the second-best defensive team in the
league (89.5) in the regular season, they surrendered 58 points
in the first half and gave up 11 3-pointers on Sunday.
Antonio McDyess came off the bench to score 12 of his 15 points
in the first half, Richard Hamilton had 14 and Chauncey Billups
13 for Detroit, which had a 45-36 rebounding edge.
The Pistons are looking to join the 1969 Boston Celtics and the
1977 Portland Trail Blazers as the only teams to win the NBA
Finals after dropping the first two games.
The only defending NBA champions who were swept in the Finals
the following season are the 1983 and 1989 Lakers.
Game Four will be at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Thursday.