SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- After an inspired performance Tuesday,
the Detroit Pistons turn their attention to history.
The Pistons look to become just the fourth team in NBA Finals
history to win Game Seven on the road when they take on the San
Antonio Spurs on Thursday in the finale of the first
championship series to go the distance since 1994.
Behind a combined 44 points from the backcourt tandem of
Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton and strong play down the
stretch from maligned forward Rasheed Wallace, Detroit evened
the series at three wins apiece with a 95-86 triumph Tuesday.
It marked the Pistons' first win in San Antonio since 1997,
breaking a string of 10 straight road losses against the Spurs,
including two blowout defeats here to start the Finals.
Wallace had been criticized for sub-par play throughout the
series and a defensive mishap in Game Five in which he left San
Antonio forward Robert Horry wide open for what proved to be the
decisive 3-pointer in overtime.
The volatile Detroit forward responded by scoring seven of his
team's last 13 points in Game Six as the Pistons pulled away.
His play helped Detroit improve to 5-0 in elimination games over
the last two seasons and gave it a chance to become the first
team since the Washington Bullets in 1978 to win Game Seven on
The Pistons also are a win away from being the first club since
the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977 to come back from a 2-0
deficit to win the title.
The 1978 Bullets also are the last team to rally from a 3-2
deficit to win the NBA Finals. Since the 2-3-2 playoff format
was adopted in 1985, teams returning home with a 3-2 lead are
Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili both scored 21 points and combined
for 25 rebounds in Game Six for the Spurs, who continued their
poor foul shooting in failing to close out their third title in
Duncan and Ginobili combined to shoot 10-of-18 from the line,
part of San Antonio's 16-of-26 (62 percent) effort. After
shooting 82 percent (40-of-49) from the line in the first two
games of the series, the Spurs are a dismal 60 percent
(55-of-91) over the last four, losing three of them.
Since Duncan joined San Antonio in 1997, the club had not
appeared in a Game Seven, including its title runs in 1999 and