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Pistons leave 76ers in dust
Published May 4, 2005
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The defending NBA champions were at their best when it mattered most.
Richard Hamilton scored 10 of his 23 in the final quarter as the Detroit Pistons followed three lackluster quarters with a dominant fourth and eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers 88-78 Tuesday night in Game 5 of their first-round series.
"We just didn't want to let this game slip away," Hamilton said. "The fourth quarter we always say is our quarter."
Detroit trailed for much of the game, but went ahead 62-61 when Tayshaun Prince made the first basket of the fourth quarter. An 8-0 run gave the Pistons an 80-69 lead with 4:48 left.
The Pistons will play next against Indiana or Boston.
Allen Iverson scored 34, playing the last 10:56 after hurting his right ankle. Iverson landed awkwardly after missing a shot and was crumpled on the court before being helped to the bench. He had his right ankle taped and was quickly back in the game.
Philadelphia's Chris Webber scored 11, and Samuel Dalembert had eight points in the first quarter but didn't score again until late in the game, finishing with 11 points.
Chauncey Billups scored 23 for the Pistons and Prince had 14 points, playing 45 minutes on a sprained right ankle. Ben Wallace added 11 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot, giving him a franchise-record 147 career playoff blocks.
The Sixers were behind just twice in the first quarter, led by as many as seven and were ahead 24-21 at the end of the period.
Detroit seemed to seize the momentum when it took the lead with six straight points early in the second quarter, but Iverson put the Sixers back ahead on the next possession. The Sixers scored the final six points of the half to take a 44-43 lead.
PACERS 90, CELTICS 85: Jamaal Tinsley was back on the court for the first time in 21/2 months, making a return that helped the Pacers head home with a chance to eliminate the Celtics.
The point guard, out since Feb. 24 with a foot injury, passed and defended like he had never been away to spark Indiana to a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.
"The way he played tonight was really key for us," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "We needed, I think, the spiritual lift of having him out there."
Now, the Pacers can finish off the best-of-seven series Thursday night on their own court.
Tinsley had six points, seven assists and five steals in 28 minutes and kept the Celtics from employing a press because of his ability to handle the ball better than his backup, Anthony Johnson. Tinsley was at his best when the Celtics threatened down the stretch after trailing by 15 with four minutes left in the third quarter.
A layup by Antoine Walker had cut the lead to 77-75. Then Tinsley assisted on Indiana's next two baskets, a 3-pointer by Reggie Miller and a jumper by Jermaine O'Neal. Stephen Jackson's 3-pointer gave the Pacers an 85-80 lead, and Tinsley kept the Celtics from coming back with two steals in the last two minutes.
SONICS 122, KINGS 118: Ray Allen didn't have to do everything himself, and his team is heading into the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Allen scored 30 points and Rashard Lewis added 10 of his 24 in the fourth quarter, leading the Seattle SuperSonics to a 122-118 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
The Sonics eliminated the Kings 4-1 and advanced in the playoffs for the first time since 1998. They'll meet the survivor of the San Antonio-Denver series, which the Spurs lead 3-1.
Allen, coming off a 45-point performance in Game 4, was smothered by double teams all night, but the Sonics supported him with a solid team effort reflected by seven players scoring in double figures.
Reserve forward Nick Collison had 15 points and nine rebounds, Antonio Daniels scored 14, Jerome James added 11 points and six rebounds and Reggie Evans and Luke Ridnour each scored 10.
The Kings haven't exited in the first round since 2000, when they lost a decisive fifth game to the Lakers. This year's playoffs also marked the first time in franchise history they'd trailed 3-1 in a series.
IN OTHER NEWS: The Wizards have suspended forward Kwame Brown for the remainder of the playoffs. The announcement came after Brown, coach Eddie Jordan and president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld met for about 10 minutes before the team's practice. "We had some philosophical differences," Grunfeld said. The Wizards are tied with the Chicago Bulls 2-2 in their Eastern Conference first-round series.