Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/29

Game 1: Sunday, February 29th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 31st

Clippers 99

(27-49, 9-30 away)

Pistons 108

(48-27, 26-10 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    7:30 PM ET, March 31, 2004

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 23 29 25 2299
    DET 24 28 25 31108

    Top Performers

    LAC: E. Brand 27 Pts, 10 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Blk

    Det: R. Hamilton 28 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 5 Stl

    Hamilton scores 28 for Detroit

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons didn't expect this much resistance from the Los Angeles Clippers.

    The Clippers led until the final moments of the third quarter before Detroit pulled away for their 10th win in 12 games, 108-99 Wednesday night.

    "We gave them life and let them think they were a better team than they really are," said Chauncey Billups, who scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. "The good thing is that we got the win. We lost a lot of games like this early in the season."

    Los Angeles lost their ninth straight and 17th in 19 tries.

    Elton Brand, who led Los Angeles with 27 points and 10 rebounds, was impressed with his team's effort. The Clippers were missing Marko Jaric (foot) and Quentin Richardson (back), then lost Corey Maggette to a strained hamstring in the first half.

    "We're short-handed right now, but you have to be proud of the way these young guys came and played," Brand said. "We're playing as hard as we can with the unit we have."

    Detroit, which played without Rasheed Wallace (back) for the second game in a row, got 28 points and a season-high five steals from Richard Hamilton, but he still got some criticism from Larry Brown.

    "He didn't really guard anyone," the Pistons coach said. "He did some good things, but he didn't do the job I want to see guarding people."

    Keyon Dooling had 20 points and 10 assists for the Clippers.

    The first half was unusually high-scoring for a Pistons game -- both teams shot at least 50 percent and went into intermission tied 52-all.

    The Clippers kept up the pressure in the third, scoring 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting to lead by four late in the quarter.

    Detroit, though, took control with a 13-0 run that spanned the third and fourth periods and gave them a 86-77 lead with 10 minutes left. Hamilton had five points in the run and Williamson added four.

    Los Angeles got as close as 91-86 but Billups had nine points in a 12-2 run to put the game away.

    Ben Wallace missed six of eight free throws in the fourth quarter, helping the Clippers stay within striking distance, but they couldn't hit enough shots for a comeback.

    Detroit finished the game with a season-high 31 points off turnovers, thanks to 18 steals.

    "We just turned the ball over too many times in the second half, and they won the game," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Once we lost Corey, we were playing on fumes at the end. We played with every ounce of energy we had."

    Detroit's reserves had 27 points, 12 assists and six steals.

    "If we didn't have Lindsey Hunter, Mike James, Corliss Williamson and Elden Campbell, this could have been a nightmare," Brown said. "It was a long game -- I'm just glad it is over."

    Game notes

    Clippers center Chris Kaman, who played his college basketball at Central Michigan, had a large cheering section for his first NBA game in his home state. ... Darko Milicic played the final 1:11, but did not score. ... Brand, Ben Wallace and Billups all picked up technical fouls for arguing calls. ... A fan threw an octopus on the floor in the fourth quarter -- a longtime tradition at Detroit Red Wings playoff games. ... The game was the 14th straight sellout at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the longest streak since the first 245 games held in the building, from 1988-1993.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 99 108
    FGM-FGA 39-76 (.513) 37-77 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 1-5 (.200) 7-18 (.389)
    FTM-FTA 20-22 (.909) 27-39 (.692)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-40 10-34
    Assists 23 29
    Turnovers 22 10
    Steals 6 18
    Blocks 2 6
    Fast Break Points 7 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (1/0) 22 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 27
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 28
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 0