Detroit wins series 4-3 (Game 2 of 7)

Detroit wins series 4-3

Game 1: Sunday, April 20th
Game 2: Wednesday, April 23rd
Game 3: Friday, April 25th
Game 4: Sunday, April 27th
Game 5: Wednesday, April 30th
Game 6: Friday, May 2nd
Game 7: Sunday, May 4th

Magic 77

(42-40, 16-25 away)

Pistons 89

(50-32, 30-11 home)

    Coverage: FSDT

    8:00 PM ET, April 23, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 14 26 21 1677
    DET 31 23 16 1989

    Top Performers

    Orlando: T. McGrady 46 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Detroit: R. Hamilton 30 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast

    Balanced effort helps Pistons overcome Magic

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- A true team can beat a sensational superstar.

    Tracy McGrady

    The Magic's Tracy McGrady, right, has scored 89 points in his first two games of this series against the Pistons.

    Tracy McGrady scored 46 points, but five Detroit Pistons scored in double figures as they beat the Orlando Magic 89-77 Wednesday in Game 2 to even their first-round playoff series.

    "I can't win it by myself,'' McGrady said. "I'm pretty sure they should understand that, but I give Detroit credit for really shutting those guys down.''

    McGrady's teammates, led by Andrew DeClercq's nine points, combined for just 31 points.

    Richard Hamilton had 30 points one game after scoring 28 in his playoff debut. Detroit's Chauncey Billups had 15, Corliss Williamson added 13 and Cliff Robinson scored 10.

    "Everybody helps everybody out and everybody knows their place,'' Hamilton said.

    Ben Wallace validated the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award he won earlier in the day -- for the second straight year. Wallace made two come-from-behind blocks in the first several minutes, and finished with 16 rebounds, three steals, three blocks and 10 points.

    "I thought I was going to have to lead the way, but the guys were already ready,'' Wallace said. "We just played with a lot of energy.''

    McGrady, the NBA's leading scorer, broke the Magic playoff scoring record he set Sunday with 43 points. His 46-point performance also tied The Palace scoring record in any game shared by Shaquille O'Neal, Jerry Stackhouse and Grant Hill.

    McGrady made 16 of 26 shots and 10 of 11 free throws.

    "I thought we made McGrady work for his shots, but he's playing at an amazing level,'' Detroit coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's doing things that most of us have never seen before.''

    Game 3 is Friday in Orlando.

    Detroit, which never trailed, led by 22 early in the second quarter and maintained a double-digit lead for the final 9:25.

    Wallace's alley-oop dunk and Billups' 3-pointer gave Detroit an 85-70 lead with 4:23 left, but McGrady answered with a long jumper and a 3-pointer in less than a minute. But the Magic could not get closer.

    Pistons rookie Tayshaun Prince, who didn't even play in Game 1, helped slow down McGrady for a short time. Prince replaced Michael Curry with 4:45 left in the third quarter and McGrady missed his first four field goals against Prince as Detroit pulled away for good.

    "Maybe now we have to call Tayshaun Prince the T-Mac stopper,'' Orlando coach Doc Rivers said. "But the bottom line is, we've got to get other guys involved.''

    The game -- and Billups -- couldn't have started any differently than the opener.

    Detroit made 12 of 21 shots in the first quarter to take a 31-14 lead. It missed 18 of its first 22 shots on Sunday and trailed by nine early in the second quarter. Billups made as many shots -- three -- in the first 5:31 as he did after taking 16 shots in Game 1.

    After Detroit took its second 22-point lead early in the second quarter, McGrady brought the Magic back with spectacular shots.

    McGrady scored 14 points in 4:19 to cut Orlando's deficit to 43-35. The highlight came when he caught an alley-oop pass with both hands on the right side of the lane, then scored with a left-handed layup on the other side of the rim.

    Detroit scored the last five points of the quarter to lead 54-40 at halftime.

    The Magic pulled within six for the first time since midway through the first quarter with 3:10 left in the third quarter. Detroit answered with six straight points, including Hamilton's two free throws after he was knocked down by Shawn Kemp, who was called for a flagrant foul.

    The Pistons started the fourth quarter with a 70-61 lead.

    Game notes

    Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, a former Piston, presented Wallace with his award before the game. ... At halftime, the Pistons honored Earl Lloyd, who will be inducted this year into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Lloyd became the first black player in the NBA in 1950. He played for the Pistons from 1958-60 and coached them in the early 1970s, after being the first black NBA assistant coach in 1968. ... Faces in the crowd included boxer Tommy "Hit Man'' Hearns and Houston's Maurice Taylor, a Detroit native. .. Deon Curry, the son of Detroit's Michael Curry, has made a commitment to play football at Michigan State.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 77 89
    FGM-FGA 27-68 (.397) 31-73 (.425)
    3PM-3PA 4-17 (.235) 4-14 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 19-21 (.905) 23-32 (.719)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-30 12-47
    Assists 15 20
    Turnovers 15 18
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 1 8
    Fast Break Points 4 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (2/1) 24 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 46
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 30
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0