Saturday, May 3, 2003

Detroit survives to force Game 7



The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Detroit Pistons are back from the brink of elimination and humiliation.

Chauncey Billups scored 18 of his career-high 40 points in a decisive first quarter, and the Pistons defeated the Orlando Magic 103-88 Friday night to even their first-round playoff series and set up a Game 7 Sunday in Detroit.

Billups shot 7-of-14 on 3-pointers, including all five tries in the first period when Detroit seized a lead it would never relinquish. Billups entered the game shooting 14 percent (4-for-28) from behind the arc.

Richard Hamilton added 22 points, and Ben Wallace had his fourth double-double of the series with 20 points and 17 rebounds while also blocking five shots.

By snapping a 12-game road playoff losing streak, the Pistons moved one win away from becoming only the seventh team in NBA playoff history to avoid elimination after falling behind 3-1.

Also, Detroit would dodge the ignominy of being ousted by a No. 8 seed, which has happened only twice - by Miami in 1999 and Seattle in 1994 - since the NBA went to a 16-team format in 1984.

Tracy McGrady had 37 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando. He played 47 minutes despite tendinitis in both knees.

76ers 107, Hornets 103

NEW ORLEANS - Allen Iverson capped a 45-point performance by scoring Philadelphia's final six points - including a key straightaway bank shot with 10 seconds left - as the 76ers won their playoff series with New Orleans 4-2.

Keith Van Horn had 18 points and 18 rebounds, Derrick Coleman scored 16 points and Kenny Thomas added 10 for the Sixers.

Jamal Mashburn, playing his second game with a chipped bone in his right middle finger, scored 36 to lead New Orleans, which was hurt by 14-for-23 free throw shooting, missing five of eight in the final period.

Baron Davis added 21 points for the Hornets but missed substantial chunks of time because of foul trouble. David Wesley added 19 points, but fouled out while struggling to guard Iverson.




BENGALS
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Buffalo 5, Louisville 3

MORE BASEBALL
NL: Smoltz stumbles, Braves bounce back
AL: Cameron comes up big again in Chicago
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KENTUCKY DERBY
Derby packed with drama
Frankel has inside track on Hollywood ending
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Kentucky Oaks: Tears fall freely for Zito
Empire Maker is the complete package
Racing finds niche in least likely place

FLYING PIG
Familiar faces are missing from Pig

PREP SPORTS
8th-grade phenom packs 'em in at NCH
St. Dominic girls show all the rest how to take it to the hoop
Friday's Results
Today's Games

BASKETBALL
Eustachy violated NCAA's extra-benefits rule
Eustachy saga becoming PR chess match
Coaches split on possible Eustachy firing
Detroit survives to force Game 7
Duncan wins second straight MVP
Stockton says he'll retire

HOCKEY
Upstart Mighty Ducks looking to clinch series
ECHL: Cyclones even series

AUTO RACING
Crash leaves Nadeau in critical condition
NASCAR fans, drivers love Richmond 400

GOLF
Verplank vaults to lead after 63
Nicklaus' family around for weekend

A LOOK AT SPORTS
As the sports world turns...

PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio