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Pistons shake off rumors, even series

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Larry Brown will return to Detroit to coach at least one more game. His defending champion Pistons made sure of it.

Detroit ensured that the Eastern Conference finals will last at least six games, getting a big performance from Richard Hamilton on both ends of the court to defeat the Miami Heat 106-96 Tuesday night in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series.

Bouncing back from a 2-1 deficit just as they did in the second round against Indiana, the Pistons took the lead for good after Shaquille O'Neal got into foul trouble midway through the first quarter and knotted the series 2-2 heading into Game 5 on Thursday night in Miami.

The 64-year-old Brown has met with the Cleveland Cavaliers about becoming their president of basketball operations, though he continued to insist Tuesday that he would like to continue coaching if his health allows it.

Hamilton scored 28 points, Rasheed Wallace added 20, Chauncey Billups had 17 and the Pistons finished with six turnovers.

O'Neal, limited by foul trouble to 8 minutes in the first half, had 12 points and five rebounds. Dwyane Wade had 28 points on 10-for-22 shooting


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