Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tied Up

After Little Shooting Success, Mr. Big Shot Delivers

They don't call him Mr. Big Shot for nothing, although you'd be excused for wondering how he ever got that nickname if all you were judging him on was his body of work over the first three games of this series and the first three quarters of Game 4.

In fact, Chauncey Billups was such a borderline liability through the first 36 minutes of Game 4, he began the fourth quarter on the bench and stayed there past the midpoint of the period. At that point, whether he'd even get back into the game was a question mark.

But Billups finally peeled off his warm-ups and checked back in with 4:50 remaining, and his 3-pointer with 2:55 left ended up being the biggest shot of the game, extending a seven-point lead to 10 and giving the Pistons the breathing room that had been eluding them all night. Detroit went on to defeat the Boston Celtics 94-75 Monday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.

The final score, with its 19-point margin, was not indicative of how close this game was for the first 46 minutes. The Pistons never trailed, but they also couldn't find a way to put away a Celtics team that stayed within striking distance by going to the free-throw line 39 times and making 32 of them.

Boston shot a shade below 32 percent from the field, went 1-for-9 on 3-pointers and didn't get any sustained offense from its big three as Paul Pierce shot 3-for-14, Kevin Garnett was 6-for-16 and Ray Allen was 2-for-8 and missed two big free throws with 2:04 remaining when Boston had a chance to cut its deficit to eight.

The rest of the article here.

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