AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Once again, The Palace of
Auburn Hills has provided a big boost to the Detroit Pistons in
the NBA Finals.
After a convincing win on Tuesday, the Pistons can tie the
best-of-seven series when they host the San Antonio Spurs on
The Spurs won the first two games at home by an average margin
of 18 points, but the Pistons bounced back with a 96-79 victory
here on Tuesday.
Last year, the Pistons became the first team to win the middle
three games of the NBA Finals at home since the 2-3-2 format was
instituted in 1984, beating the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-1.
The backcourt of Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups combined
for 44 points as the Pistons pulled away in the second half to
become the first team to score at least 90 points against the
Spurs in an NBA Finals game. San Antonio had played 13 games in
the Finals without giving up 90 points.
The key to Detroit's resurgence was Ben Wallace, who finished
with 15 points and 11 rebounds and flashed the prowess that
earned him NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Wallace, who had five of the Pistons' 10 blocks and three of
their 12 steals, played a big part in holding Spurs All-Star Tim
Duncan to 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Duncan's output was
his second-lowest this postseason and made the Spurs 3-3 in the
2004 playoffs when he fails to score 20.
San Antonio star guard Manu Ginobili, who averaged 26.5 points
over the first two games of the series, had an even worse
outing. He aggravated a bruise near his right knee just 21
seconds into the game and hobbled to a seven-point performance
on 2-of-6 shooting.
The Spurs had scored at least 86 points in each of their 18
playoff games and had won four straight on the road before
Detroit is 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.
Game Five will be at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Sunday.