Final

Detroit wins series 4-2 (Game 1 of 6)

Detroit wins series 4-2

Game 1: Tuesday, May 6th
76ers87Final
Pistons98
Game 2: Thursday, May 8th
76ers97Final
OT
Pistons104
Game 3: Saturday, May 10th
Pistons83Final
76ers93
Game 4: Sunday, May 11th
Pistons82Final
76ers95
Game 5: Wednesday, May 14th
76ers77Final
Pistons78
Game 6: Friday, May 16th
Pistons93Final
OT
76ers89

76ers 87

(48-34, 23-18 away)

Pistons 98

(50-32, 30-11 home)

    8:00 PM ET, May 6, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHI 21 19 26 2187
    DET 24 25 24 2598

    Top Performers

    Phi: A. Iverson 27 Pts, 3 Reb, 8 Ast

    Det: C. Billups 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Billups forced to leave game with ankle injury

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Chauncey Billups' sprained ankle concerned the Detroit Pistons as much as their win over Philadelphia excited them.

    Chauncey Billups
    Billups

    Richard Hamilton scored 25 points and Billups had to be helped off the court after his 24th point as top-seeded Detroit beat the fourth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers 98-87 Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    "It was tough,'' Hamilton said. "I ran to him and said, 'You all right?' You could see he was in some pain. Chauncey is a big asset to our team.

    "I just got done talking to him in the training room, and said, 'Please tell me you'll be all right for Game 2.' Hopefully he'll be back.''

    Game 2 is Thursday night at The Palace. Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said he may not know until gameday whether Billups will play.

    Philadelphia also has a limping guard.

    X-rays were taken of Eric Snow's right foot after the game, and they were negative. Snow, who received treatment on his foot before the contest, will be evaluated again before practice Wednesday.

    Allen Iverson, who led the league in scoring during the first round, had 27 points on 8-of-21 shooting for the 76ers. He averaged 34.8 points in the first round against Charlotte.

    "They played better than us, but we still had a chance to win the basketball game, so we feel good about that,'' Iverson said.

    Detroit was in control for much of the game, but it was never comfortable.

    That was especially true when Billups left when he turned his left ankle after shooting a jumper and landing on Snow's foot. His basket gave the Pistons a 77-70 lead with 10:09 left. Billups has scored 101 points in his past three games.

    The Sixers scored consecutive baskets to pull within three -- the closest they had been since early in the second quarter -- but Detroit rookie Mehmet Okur scored six straight points to give the Pistons the cushion they needed.

    "We got to 77-74 and we self-destructed,'' 76ers coach Larry Brown said.

    Philadelphia could not get closer than six points as the Pistons made enough free throws to seal the win. Detroit has not trailed in the second half of its last four games.

    The Pistons lost the opening game of the playoffs to Orlando and were forced to rally to be just the seventh team in NBA history to win a series after trailing 3-1.

    "We know how important it is to win the first game because we didn't like being at the other end in the last round,'' Carlisle said. "But we also won the first game last year against Boston and lost the series, so we know how important Game 2 is, too.''

    The Celtics eliminated the Pistons in Game 5 of the conference semifinals last season.

    Detroit's bench, which led the league with 34.1 points a game during the regular season, was a force.

    Okur scored a playoff-high 16, while Tayshaun Prince and Corliss Williamson each had eight. Chucky Atkins, who replaced Billups, scored a basket for the first time since Game 5 against the Magic.

    "Their bench came in and gave them a huge lift,'' Brown said.

    Philadelphia's Derrick Coleman scored a playoff-high 21 points and reserve Greg Buckner added 11.

    The Sixers made most of their shots in the first half, but their turnovers were costly.

    Philadelphia hit 56.3 percent to Detroit's 37.5 percent, but trailed 24-21 after the first quarter. The Pistons converted eight turnovers into eight points.

    Early in the second quarter, after Philadelphia took its second lead, Detroit scored nine straight points for a 33-25 lead.

    By halftime, the Sixers were still making more than half their shots, but trailed 49-40 because the Pistons turned 13 turnovers into 16 points.

    Detroit went ahead 63-50, its largest lead, midway through the third quarter, but began the fourth up just 73-66.

    Game notes


    There was a 19-minute delay at 7:51of the first quarter because the overhead lights at The Palace went out. "A breaker was tripped, just like what happens in a house,'' Pistons spokesman Matt Dobek said. ... Detroit's local television network lost its video and audio signal during the power outage, but play-by-play announcer George Blaha continued to call the action via telephone. ESPN and Philadelphia's television network did not have their broadcasts interrupted.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    PHI
    DET
    Points 87 98
    FGM-FGA 32-68 (.471) 32-71 (.451)
    3PM-3PA 3-9 (.333) 8-24 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 20-26 (.769) 26-32 (.813)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-35 12-38
    Assists 18 18
    Turnovers 17 12
    Steals 4 10
    Blocks 1 8
    Fast Break Points 3 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 25 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Philadelphia
    Detroit
    Allen Iverson Iverson
    Points: 27
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 24
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0