Defending-champion Pistons eliminate 76ers in five games

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

The Detroit Pistons followed up three lackluster quarters with a dominant fourth, earning the defending NBA champions a spot in the second round.

Richard Hamilton scored 10 of his 23 points in the final quarter to lift the Pistons to an 88-78 home victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their first-round series. Detroit won the series 4-1 and will play next against Indiana or Boston.

Detroit trailed for much of the game, but went ahead 62-61 when Tayshaun Prince made the first basket of the fourth quarter. An 8-0 run gave the Pistons an 80-69 lead with 4:48 left.

Allen Iverson scored 34 points, playing the last 10:56 after hurting his right ankle. Iverson landed awkwardly after missing a shot and was crumpled on the court before being helped to the bench. He had his right ankle taped and was quickly back in the game.

Philadelphia's Chris Webber scored 11, and Samuel Dalembert had eight points in the first quarter but didn't score again until late in the game, finishing with 11 points.

Chauncey Billups scored 23 for the Pistons, Prince had 14 points and Ben Wallace added 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Pacers 90, Celtics 85

Jermaine O'Neal scored 19 points and Stephen Jackson hit a big 3-pointer that helped hold off a Celtics' comeback and give the Indiana Pacers a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.

Boston, playing at home, had whittled a 15-point, third-quarter to 2 after Paul Pierce's 3-pointer made it 80-78 with 4:26 left. A basket by O'Neal made it 82-78 before Pierce sank a jumper. Then Jackson scored the last of his 15 points on a 3-pointer with 2:38 remaining for an 85-80 edge.

Pierce and Dale Davis traded free throws and Marcus Banks cut the lead to 86-83 with a layup with 28 seconds remaining, but the Pacers got the last four points on two free throws each by Anthony Johnson and Reggie Miller.

The Pacers now have a chance to win the best-of-seven series Thursday night.

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