Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 3/6

Game 1: Sunday, March 6th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 30th

Kings 82

(44-29, 17-19 away)

Pistons 99

(44-27, 27-9 home)

Coverage: WDWB

7:30 PM ET, March 30, 2005

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
SAC 11 31 18 2282
DET 25 21 29 2499

Top Performers

Sac: M. Bibby 26 Pts, 4 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

Det: B. Wallace 19 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

Detroit had lost four of five

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons didn't have either of their top two point guards for the second half. The Sacramento Kings couldn't take advantage.

With Chauncey Billups ejected late in the second quarter and backup Carlos Arroyo (flu) watching from home, Tayshaun Prince and Lindsey Hunter split the playmaking duties Wednesday night as Detroit pulled away to a 99-82 victory.

"We were a little down at halftime," Prince said. "But we knew we had to respond."

Detroit, which had lost four of its previous five games, was coached by assistant Gar Heard for the 10th straight game as Larry Brown recovers from urinary-tract surgery. Brown is expected back for Friday's game against the Clippers.

"When Lindsey was out there, we were able to be more aggressive on defense, but we knew he couldn't play all 24 minutes," Heard said. "So we put Tay on the ball and had Rip (Richard Hamilton) guard their point. It worked pretty well."

Even with the victory, Heard was ready to hand the job back to Brown.

"I can fly the plane," he said. "But I don't think I can land it."

Hamilton led the Pistons with 24 points while Ben Wallace had 19 points and 14 rebounds. The much-maligned Pistons bench, which was outscored 26-2 in Monday's loss to Dallas, outscored the Kings' reserves 29-16.

"We have a fairly young starting five, and those guys don't get tired," Darvin Ham said. "When we are able to relieve them and play some consistent minutes, everything will work out."

Mike Bibby led the Kings with 26 points and Peja Stojakovic added 15. Sacramento, which was 10-1 against Detroit since the 1999-2000 season, never led.

"They just kept coming at us," Stojakovic said. "They are a championship team, and they know their advantages and how to use them."

Detroit led by as many as 17 in the first half, but a late Kings rally pulled them within 46-42 at the half. The last two points came on technical foul free throws when Billups was tossed for arguing a non-call with 2.8 seconds left.

The Pistons got off to another quick start in the third quarter and led 66-50 midway through the period. Hamilton had seven points in six minutes and Ben Wallace added five.

"Our captain got us going," Prince said. "Ben got us off to a great start in the first half and he did it again in the second half."

Detroit led 75-60 at the end of the third, outscoring the Kings 29-18 in the period. Sacramento never got closer than eight in the fourth.

"We did not attack enough tonight against a great defensive team," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "The third quarter was the key. They got their lead up to 10 or 15 points and that was just too much for us to overcome."< ^Notes: The Kings scored a season-low 11 points in the first quarter. ... As part of a series of Throwback Nights, the Pistons wore their lightning-bolt jerseys from the late 1970s, while the Kings wore powder-blue uniforms from the 1980s. ... The Pistons are now 9-8 with Heard coaching, including a stint early in the season after Brown had hip surgery. ... Rasheed Wallace, who attended North Carolina, loudly predicted the Tar Heels would beat local favorites Michigan State in Saturday's national semifinal. "It's going to be Carolina and Illinois in the final, and that will be Illinois' second loss."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 82 99
FGM-FGA 27-69 (.391) 40-82 (.488)
3PM-3PA 3-17 (.176) 2-13 (.154)
FTM-FTA 25-30 (.833) 17-25 (.680)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-35 11-44
Assists 19 25
Turnovers 16 11
Steals 6 9
Blocks 2 3
Fast Break Points 20 10
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 24 (2/0)
Largest Lead 0 17

Top Performers

Mike Bibby Bibby
Points: 26
Reb: 4
Ast: 8
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Ben Wallace Wallace
Points: 19
Reb: 14
Ast: 2
Stl: 3
Blk: 1