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Sunday, May 9, 2004
Pistons PG goes 1-for-10 in Game 3

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- All the New Jersey Nets had to do to shut down Detroit Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups was change defenders.

Jason Kidd out; Kerry Kittles in.

Two days after being burned for 28 points by Billups in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Kittles limited him to two points on 1-for-10 shooting in an 82-64 win on Sunday night.

"You can't do the same thing every night of every series," said Billups, who hit 9 of 16 shots, including three 3-pointers, in the Pistons' 95-80 win in Game 2. "This is the NBA. They scout. They watch tapes. It's tough."

Like all of his Pistons' teammates, Billups never got untracked in Game 3 as the Nets cut Detroit's lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.

The 64 points tied a franchise-low for a playoff game set two years ago against Boston.

While Kittles did an outstanding job of not allowing Billups either open looks or room to penetrate, Billups said the biggest factor in the game was the Nets' fast break.

New Jersey outscored Detroit 13-2 on the break while taking a 31-13 lead.

"This was typical New Jersey Nets basketball," Billups said. "They got out on the break and opened the game up."

Billups said that the Nets' fast break helped take him out of his game.

"It's tough for me when they are getting out breaking like that," Billups said. "If I do what I normally do that takes me out of transition defense. When they get out to a start like that it's tough for me to get going. That takes the ball out of everybody else's hands."

The Pistons hit only 22 baskets and had 10 assists.

"No way we can win with only 10 assists," Pistons guard Richard Hamilton said. "That's crazy. We've got to do a better job of sharing the ball."

Hamilton and Ben Wallace led the Pistons with 15 points apiece. Rasheed Wallace was the only other players in double figures for Detroit with 10 points.

The Pistons shot 28.9 percent from the field on 22-for-76 shooting.

"They were really prepared," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "They played great. I think their effort was phenomenal. It was a carbon copy of Game 1 only the teams were reversed. If it wasn't for Ben, this might be a 50-point blowout."