PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- When it was time for Detroit to get back
into the game or allow Philadelphia to even their playoff series,
Chauncey Billups took over.
Billups made two clutch 3-pointers. He hit a nice fadeaway, and
sank a couple of foul shots.
By the time Billups finished scoring 10 straight points for the
Pistons in the final 3:05 of regulation, the 76ers' lead was gone --
and so might have been their shot at making this a long series.
Billups scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter,
Rasheed Wallace hit a couple of 3-pointers in overtime and Detroit
overcame an inspired effort by Allen Iverson to go up 3-1 in its
first-round series with a 97-92 win over the Sixers on Sunday.
"It seemed like the tide was turning, nothing was really going
good for us," Billups said. "I wasn't really making too many
shots. I wanted to try. If I'm going to go down, I'm going to go
"Shots just started going for me and we started to run a couple
of plays for me."
The Pistons survived another scare from Philadelphia, and headed
home with a chance to wrap up their playoff series. Game 5 is
Tuesday in Detroit.
"The guys competed their guts out. They just got beat by the
best team in the world," said Sixers coach Jim O'Brien.
After Billups carried the Pistons in a frantic finish to the
fourth quarter, Wallace hit a decisive 3-pointer with 1:29 left in
OT. Richard Hamilton hit a runner on the baseline with 14.5 seconds
left, then sealed the win with a couple of free throws.
"Those were good shots from myself, Rip and Chauncey," Wallace
said. "I'd take those shots any day."
Wallace's 3 came right after Chris Webber hit a 3-pointer and
Iverson made two free throws, tying the game 90-all.
"He told me to come to him because he was feeling it,"
Hamilton said. "He knocked down a big shot for us."
Rasheed Wallace had 17 points and Ben Wallace added 12 points
and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who bounced back from a Game 3
loss Friday night.
Tayshaun Prince, who added 17 points, went down briefly at the
end of the third quarter with a mildly sprained right ankle, but
returned to the game. He was listed as day-to-day.
Iverson again did his best to carry the Sixers, scoring 36
points on 14-for-24 shooting with eight assists.
Webber added 23 points, including several key baskets in the
third and fourth quarters. Samuel Dalembert had 15 rebounds.
Iverson did all he could in going over 30 points for the third
time in the series, including a running halfcourt shot down the
left side to end the first quarter and a jumper with 28.3 seconds
left in regulation that gave the Sixers a short-lived 82-80 lead.
"I could feel bad, and I do, but I feel real good about our
effort," Iverson said. "I feel real good about my teammates."
Billups answered Iverson's final 3 in regulation with a
3-pointer from the corner that gave the Pistons an 83-82 lead with
22 seconds left.
Billups, though, got a little too aggressive and fouled Willie
Green, sending the 78 percent free throw shooter to the line with
3.1 seconds left. Green missed the first and hit the second to tie
"I was just concentrating on trying to sink it, but,
unfortunately, I came up short on a free throw that could have won
the game for us," said Green, who left the game briefly in the
second quarter to get eight stitches over his left eye.
Rasheed Wallace missed a long jumper after Green's free throw,
and the game went into overtime.
The 76ers had a nine-point lead with just over 6 minutes left.
With the lead going back and forth late in the fourth quarter,
normally reserved Sixers chairman Ed Snider started acting more
like Dallas owner Mark Cuban, leaping from his courtside seat and
waving his arms while protesting a non-call.
Iverson made his boss feel better with a 3-pointer, but Billups
came right back down with a 3 of his own, pulling the Pistons to
80-76 with 2:59 left.
"I was just waiting to run the offense and then I decided to be
aggressive," Billups said. "Guys were finding me and shots were
For the first time in the series, the Pistons failed to
make half their shots from the field, shooting 43 percent. ...
Iverson has scored 30 or more points in 32 of his 61 career playoff
games. His 30.6 career postseason scoring average is second only to
Michael Jordan's 33.4. ... The team that has trailed at the end of
the first quarter has won all four games. ... The Pistons committed