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PISTONS SURPRISED.....Philadelphia 90, PISTONS 86, S 4/20/08
Posted on: 04-20-2008

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>>caption:  SHEED BLOCKED


    The Philadelphia 76ers trailed
the Pistons by 15-P in the 3rd-Qtr
of the opening game of their opening round NBA playoff series.
    Then, the 6ers crept closer, and closer, and closer.
    And closer.
    Suddenly, halfway through the 4th-Qtr, Philly went ahead.
    Philadelphia defeated Detroit 90-86 Sunday evening.
    While the game one loss was a surprise, it shouldn't have been. Even
though Philly had the next-to-last Eastern Conference playoff slot, they
played Detroit tough all season, splitting their head-to-head series 2-2.
    Down 62-47, Philadelphia used a 10-0 run to get back into the game. With
6:50 to play it was 76-all when Andre Miller made 1-of-2 free throws. Then,
Philly went up 78-77 on a Miller put-back. Following some short back-&-forth,
Reggie Evans hit a jumper from outside the top of the key as the shot clock was
expiring to put the 6ers ahead 82-79 with 4:28 still left.
    No appearance of panic set in, but, at the same time, Detroit went cold
shooting. Chauncey Billups missed three of four free throws plus a layup attempt
in a 2-min span. Billups then did make a pair of foul shots to get the Pistons
within 87-86 with 45.1-sec remaining. However, Tayshaun Prince missed a go-ahead
left wing fallaway attempt with 14-sec to go and Rasheed Wallace couldn't convert an
inside try to tie with 10-sec left (both off Billups feeds).
    Andre Iguodala sealed the win with two charity tosses with 7-sec on the clock
for the 90-86 final.
    Detroit shot only 39% (32-of-82) from the field.
    Wallace topped Detroit with a game-high 24-P and tied a franchise playoff record with
seven blocked shots. Billups had 14-P and Rip Hamilton added 13-P. Prince and reserve
Jason Maxiell both scored 12-P with Maxiell grabbing a team-high 11-RB.  
    The Andres led Philly with Miller getting 20-P and Iguodala 16-P with a game-high 8-A.
Former UDM Titan Willie Green scored 17-P. Evans sank 11-P and pulled down a game-high
14-RB. Thaddeus Young had 10-P.


PISTONS H-COACH FLIP SAUNDERS:   "We're disappointed, we're upset, we're mad - all
of those things...they beat us. There's no question about it...We've got to fire back on Wednesday (in game two). It's a must-win game now."

PISTONS CEN RASHEED WALLACE:   "I'm going to put this one on me. There's no
excuses. The last bunny, that was a bucket I should've made. I'm going to take
this one on the chin."

PISTONS FWD TAYSHAUN PRINCE:   "If we're up 13 (at halftime), we've got to build on
that and keep it moving. They're a young team. They play hard...And we let them back
in the game."

PISTONS GD CHAUNCEY BILLUPS:   "(We) had a good half, real good half, both sides. And
then came out and had a horrible start to the third quarter...once you start missing,
everything else kind of gets out of sync."  

6ERS H-COACH MO CHEEKS:   "The first half, we were a little nervous. You could tell...
You don't expect Detroit to do that. C'mon...When Rip Hamilton misses foul shots and
Chauncey Billups misses foul shots and Reggie Evans makes a fadeaway shot, our chances
are looking pretty good."

6ERS GD WILLIE GREEN:   "We just wanted to try and make some adjustments (in the 2nd-H)
and we were able to do that...guys made big plays down the stretch. Our defense was key
and it was a big win for us, big victory."

6ERS FWD REGGIE EVANS:   "I'm pretty sure we shocked a lot of people."

6ERS FWD ANDRE IGUODALA:   "That's Detroit. They turn it on and turn it off. We
just kept fighting the whole way."


    The Pistons are only 3-&-7 in their last ten playoff games and have lost five
    Sheed tied the team record of seven blocks in a playoff game set by Bob
Lanier and later tied by Ben Wallace.
    Detroit's last opening game playoff defeat was to Orlando in 2003.
    Green's college coach Perry Watson, recently retired on medical leave from
Detroit-Mercy, sat watching courtside.


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