Detroit wins series 4-1 (Game 1 of 5)

Detroit wins series 4-1

Game 1: Sunday, April 23rd
Game 2: Wednesday, April 26th
Game 3: Saturday, April 29th
Game 4: Monday, May 1st
Game 5: Wednesday, May 3rd

Bucks 74

(40-42, 15-26 away)

Pistons 92

(64-18, 37-4 home)

Coverage: FSDT

7:00 PM ET, April 23, 2006

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
MIL 19 18 19 1874
DET 19 24 25 2492

Top Performers

Mil: J. Magloire 11 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Det: R. Wallace 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

Pistons have four in double figures led by 'Sheed

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Exactly 10 months after losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Rasheed Wallace and the Detroit Pistons opened these playoffs Sunday like they're itching to get right back.

"This is what we've been looking forward to all year," Wallace said.

Wallace scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half and Richard Hamilton had 21 to lead Detroit to a 92-74 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of their first-round series.

The top-seeded Pistons were so balanced offensively that they started the final quarter with four scorers in double figures, and were so tough at the other end that Milwaukee didn't have one.

"One of the strengths of Detroit's team is it's hard to focus on one guy," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said.

Milwaukee star Michael Redd was held to 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting after averaging 25.4 during the regular season and 30 in four games against the Pistons.

"Whenever I got the ball, I had two or three guys around me," Redd said. "They were really concentrating on me, to shut me down."

Reserve Charlie Bell led the Bucks with 13 points.

The Pistons took control with a 13-2 run midway through the third quarter to take a 64-45 lead, but had to respond when the Bucks showed signs of life to open the fourth.

"We wanted to win big right away," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said after coaching the Pistons for the first time in the postseason. "We didn't let things happen; we tried to make too many spectacular plays."

Milwaukee scored the first eight points -- six on Bell's 3-pointers -- of the final quarter to pull within four, but couldn't stop four Pistons from combining for an 11-0 run to give Detroit a 79-64 lead.

The Pistons will also host Game 2 in the best-of-seven series Wednesday.

Detroit, which lost Game 7 at San Antonio June 23, will have home-court advantage throughout the postseason after winning an NBA-high 64 games.

The Pistons will have a shot at meeting expectations of a championship if they stay healthy -- and that might be the only thing they're worried about after their playoff opener.

Hamilton rolled his left ankle early in the fourth. After appearing to be OK as he played, Hamilton later limped off the court in pain. Saunders said Hamilton could've gone back in the game, but the score was lopsided enough that he wasn't needed.

"The nice thing is we have a couple of days off," Saunders said.

Hamilton had X-rays after the game, which the Pistons said were negative.

Detroit's Tayshaun Prince scored 15, Chauncey Billups had 14 and reserve Antonio McDyess added nine points and 10 rebounds.

Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut, the No. 1 pick in last year's draft, had eight points midway through the second quarter, but finished with just 10. Jamaal Magloire scored 11 points for the Bucks.

Milwaukee, the lone sub-.500 team still playing, is the first team in NBA history to make the postseason with at least four players who didn't start for the team the previous season. Redd was the only starter who didn't make his postseason debut for the Bucks in Game 1.

The Pistons begin games with the same five players they did in 2004 when they beat the Bucks in the first round en route to the third championship in franchise history.

Detroit scored the first basket -- on Wallace's first of four field goals in the first quarter -- before Milwaukee scored nine straight points. Both teams finished the quarter making less than 40 percent of their shots and tied 19-all.

"I was just taking what they were giving me -- open shots," said Wallace, who made four 3-pointers in six attempts. "I just wanted to take advantage of it."

After 10 lead changes and six ties, Detroit led 43-37 at halftime.

Wallace made a jumper on the first possession of the second half, picking up where he left off, but went to the bench early in the fourth quarter when he was called for two quick fouls and a technical.

Game notes

Milwaukee was without reserve forward Toni Kukoc (back spasms). ... Saunders, who spent the previous nine-plus seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, coached the CBA's LaCrosse (Wis.) Catbirds from 1989-94. ... The Pistons went 3-1 against the Bucks this season, losing the last game they played while Hamilton and Wallace rested. ... Detroit was 24-of-34 at the line while Milwaukee took just 10 free throws, and made eight.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 74 92
FGM-FGA 31-87 (.356) 31-75 (.413)
3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 6-18 (.333)
FTM-FTA 8-10 (.800) 24-34 (.706)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-42 11-49
Assists 14 17
Turnovers 12 11
Steals 6 7
Blocks 1 8
Fast Break Points 7 21
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (2/0) 17 (1/0)
Largest Lead 7 20

Top Performers

Jamaal Magloire Magloire
Points: 11
Reb: 9
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Rasheed Wallace Wallace
Points: 22
Reb: 4
Ast: 1
Stl: 3
Blk: 2