Final / 3OT

Detroit wins series 4-3 (Game 5 of 7)

Detroit wins series 4-3

Game 1: Monday, May 3rd
Nets56Final
Pistons78
Game 2: Friday, May 7th
Nets80Final
Pistons95
Game 3: Sunday, May 9th
Pistons64Final
Nets82
Game 4: Tuesday, May 11th
Pistons79Final
Nets94
Game 5: Friday, May 14th
Nets127Final
3OT
Pistons120
Game 6: Sunday, May 16th
Pistons81Final
Nets75
Game 7: Thursday, May 20th
Nets69Final
Pistons90

Nets 127

(47-35, 19-22 away)

Pistons 120

(54-28, 31-10 home)

7:00 PM ET, May 14, 2004

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 OT 2OT 3OT T
NJ 25 18 20 25 11 12 16127
DET 19 25 18 26 11 12 9120

Top Performers

New Jersey: R. Jefferson 31 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

Detroit: C. Billups 31 Pts, 10 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl

Billups' 3 from midcourt sends it to extra time

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Jason Kidd didn't even know who bloodied his nose toward the end of a pivotal playoff game that took four hours to play and three overtimes to decide.

Unlike the first four games New Jersey and Detroit played, it wasn't a blowout, the home team didn't win, and one of the stars was a player only die-hard basketball fans even know.

Richard Jefferson scored 18 of his 31 points after regulation, and reserve Brian Scalabrine had a career-high 17 points Friday night to lead the Nets to a 127-120 victory over the Pistons -- and a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal.

billups

Chauncey Billups let it fly at the end of regulation. His aim was true, off the glass and in.

"That was an amazing game. It's just a shame that someone had to lose," Kidd said.

Detroit's Chauncey Billups, who scored 31 points, forced the first overtime when he stepped just over halfcourt and hoisted a shot that went in off the backboard at the buzzer.

"There were so many overtimes, I don't know which overtime was which," Billups said.

Scalabrine made all four of his 3-pointers, including one that gave New Jersey a 122-118 lead with about 40 seconds left in the third overtime.

In the four previous games, the lumbering forward scored a total of just six points.

"I'm not surprised, basketball players always believe in themselves," Scalabrine said. "It was just great to be a part of an unbelievable game like this. Every time we went to another OT, and it seemed like there were six of them, I thought 'Great! I get to play five more minutes."

It was the fourth playoff game to go three or more overtimes, and the first since Phoenix beat Chicago 129-121 in Game 3 of the 1993 Finals.

Game 6 is Sunday in New Jersey and, if necessary, Game 7 will be Thursday back in suburban Detroit.

"It's going to make us a lot hungrier," Billups said.

History is on the Nets' side.

Out of 115 best-of-seven series that have been tied at 2, the winner of Game 5 has advanced 96 times (83 percent).

If the two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Nets win one of the next two games, they will join just seven other teams to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 0-2.

The game was close, unlike the first four.

The Pistons won Games 1 and 2 by a combined 37 points and New Jersey won the next two by a total of 33. For just the third time in a best-of-seven series, the first four games were decided by 15 points or more.

With four players on each team having fouled out, setting an NBA playoff record, Scalabrine came through for the Nets after not playing in Game 2, and scoring no more than 16 points in his three NBA seasons.

After Jefferson's three-point play gave New Jersey a six-point lead in the third overtime, the Pistons pulled within one with 1:06 left.

Then Scalabrine made his fourth 3-pointer to give New Jersey the 122-118 lead.

"The kid, Scalabrine, made some huge, huge shots," Billups said.

Billups missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game -- again -- with 11 seconds left.

Kenyon Martin, who fouled out, had 22 points and nine rebounds. Kidd had 16 points and eight assists, and played 57 of 63 minutes. Kerry Kittles scored 20 points, and reserve Lucious Harris added 12.

"This only counts as one win, but it was a special one," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Our team won this game with will and heart."

Billups was the only Pistons starter who didn't foul out.

Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince each scored 18 points, while Ben Wallace had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Richard Hamilton had his first playoff double-double with 11 points and 11 assists.

"I'm proud just to be a part of a game like that," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "I'm disappointed that we lost."

New Jersey was 42-of-55 from the free throw line, while Detroit was 30-of-42.

Kidd put the Nets ahead 85-84 -- for the first time in almost six minutes -- with 1:09 left on a coast-to-coast drive after corralling a loose ball in front of Detroit's bench.

After the Pistons missed their ninth and 10th straight shots, Kidd's two free throws gave the Nets an 87-84 lead with 16 seconds left. Billups forced the first overtime with his banked 45-footer.

Frank said he was thinking, "I'm an idiot," when Billups made the desperation heave.

"I could have fouled, and I could have doubled the ball, and I didn't do either one," Frank said. "That almost cost us the game."

Jefferson scored six straight points in the first overtime to put the Nets ahead 96-92 with 2:21 left. Billups' two free throws put Detroit ahead with 54 seconds to go.

Jefferson made one of two free throws with 33 seconds left to tie the game at 99, and it stayed that way after both teams failed to make a game-winning shot.

Billups' two free throws put the Pistons ahead -- for the first time in the second overtime -- 111-110. Jefferson's free throw tied it with 29 seconds left after Scalabrine hustled after a loose ball, preventing it from going out of bounds, and got it to Kidd.

Game notes


The longest playoff game was Boston's 111-105 win over Syracuse in four overtimes on March 21, 1953. ... In that game, seven players fouled out, a record that was surpassed Friday. ... Former Pistons great and current Knicks president Isiah Thomas sat courtside.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NJ
DET
Points 127 120
FGM-FGA 37-86 (.430) 42-111 (.378)
3PM-3PA 11-24 (.458) 6-25 (.240)
FTM-FTA 42-55 (.764) 30-42 (.714)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-56 19-53
Assists 24 28
Turnovers 28 17
Steals 8 16
Blocks 9 8
Fast Break Points 5 6
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 42 (0/0) 41 (1/0)

Top Performers

New Jersey
Detroit
Richard Jefferson Jefferson
Points: 31
Reb: 11
Ast: 4
Stl: 2
Blk: 2
Chauncey Billups Billups
Points: 31
Reb: 10
Ast: 8
Stl: 3
Blk: 0