Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/8

Game 1: Monday, November 8th
Game 2: Friday, April 1st

Clippers 84

(32-41, 7-28 away)

Pistons 97

(45-27, 28-9 home)

    Coverage: WDWB

    8:00 PM ET, April 1, 2005

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 19 23 23 1984
    DET 23 22 29 2397

    Top Performers

    LAC: M. Jaric 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl

    Det: B. Wallace 16 Pts, 13 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

    Prince leads six Pistons in double figures

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The undermanned Los Angeles Clippers could do little more than watch as the Detroit Pistons celebrated coach Larry Brown's return to the bench by securing a playoff berth.

    Tayshaun Prince scored 23 points in Brown's first game back in three weeks, and Detroit beat the Clippers 97-84 Friday night. The victory, combined with Orlando's loss to the Washington Wizards, was enough for the Pistons to clinch a playoff berth for the fourth straight season.

    "We got the win, and the way things are going, that's a good thing," Brown said. "The Clippers played pretty darn good without a lot of their guys."

    Brown was back on the bench after missing 10 games because of complications from surgery in early March related to his hip surgery in November. Detroit went 6-4 with Gar Heard directing the team in place of Brown.

    "It was great to have him back," Chauncey Billups said. "We needed him out there giving us instruction and teaching."

    Los Angeles finished the game with just seven healthy players. Corey Maggette, Quinton Ross and Chris Kaman missed the game with back injuries and Bobby Simmons was out with a leg problem. Former Pistons player Zeljko Rebraca left the game late in the first half with a sprained right wrist and did not return.

    "We wanted to steal one tonight, but we had a lot of really good players sitting on the bench," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We had a great effort, but we just turned it over too much, and with Detroit's speed and quickness, they killed us on the break."

    Richard Hamilton added 14 points, a season-high 11 assists and eight rebounds for Detroit, which had six players in double figures. Hamilton also had six turnovers, including four in the first five minutes of the game.

    "We were teasing Rip about going for a triple-double," Brown said. "We just didn't know if it was going to be rebounds or turnovers."

    Marco Jaric led the Clippers with 24 points, one short of his career high, and Elton Brand added 22 points and 11 rebounds. Brand almost ended up on the lengthy Los Angeles injury list, but was not hurt in a dangerous-looking flip over Ben Wallace's back.

    "That was a scary situation," Brand said. "We'll have to see how I feel in the morning."

    Detroit led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter, but the Clippers closed to 45-42 at the break.

    The Pistons threatened to pull away throughout the third period, but couldn't put Los Angeles away.

    Rasheed Wallace hit a 3-pointer in the last minute of the quarter, and Prince added a free throw to put Detroit up 74-65 with 12 minutes to play.

    The undermanned Clippers, missing their leading scorer in Maggette, never made a serious run in the fourth.

    "We knew we had a chance," Brand said. "But those are the world champs and they did what they needed to do."

    Game notes

    Hamilton missed nine of his 10 first-half shots, then went 4-for-5 in the second half. ... Rick Brunson, who started in place of Maggette, picked up a third-quarter technical for arguing a call. ... Detroit's Lindsey Hunter hit his 1,000th career 3-pointer late in the third quarter. ... The Palace played the Michigan State fight song during a timeout to honor the Spartans men's and women's Final Four basketball teams. ... The Pistons have beaten the Clippers five straight times.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 97
    FGM-FGA 35-78 (.449) 38-77 (.494)
    3PM-3PA 3-10 (.300) 5-14 (.357)
    FTM-FTA 11-12 (.917) 16-20 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-35 10-38
    Assists 21 26
    Turnovers 19 17
    Steals 9 8
    Blocks 2 3
    Fast Break Points 14 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (1/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 15

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Marko Jaric Jaric
    Points: 24
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0
    Ben Wallace Wallace
    Points: 16
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 3