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George must score more

Updated: June 8, 2004, 12:23 PM ET
By Ric Bucher | ESPN the Magazine

LOS ANGELES -- Now that the Pistons ended all that talk of a Lakers' walkover with a convincing Game 1 victory, the blame game is in full swing.

Karl Malone beat the critics to the punch by heaping the abuse on himself, posthaste, after averaging one point per 11 minutes for four, total. Gary Payton decided to simply avoid the media, a ruse that cost him $5,000 and didn't stop anyone from talking about how Chauncey Billups outscored him 22-3. Derek Fisher's injured knee also received its ...

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