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Pistons Get Past the Magic

Detroit wins, 108-93, to become seventh team in NBA history to advance after falling behind, 3-1.

May 05, 2003|From Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Tracy McGrady didn't look up at the scoreboard that showed he again would be going home after the first round of the playoffs, nor did he gaze at the fans who taunted him in a raucous, sold-out arena.

"This is the worst of all of them," McGrady said after his Orlando Magic was eliminated by the Detroit Pistons, 108-93, Sunday.

Chauncey Billups scored 37 points and rookie Tayshaun Prince had a career-high 20 and harassed McGrady defensively to help the Pistons win decisively in Game 7 of the first-round, Eastern Conference series.

The Pistons became the seventh team in NBA history to advance after falling behind 3-1 in a series, giving McGrady all the time he needs to rest. For the fourth consecutive season, he's done in one.

"Before, I felt like we had to play almost perfect to have a chance. But this time, we were up 3-1 and it was right there for us to take," said McGrady, who scored 21 points on seven-for-24 shooting.

The Miami Heat (1999) and Seattle SuperSonics (1994) were the only top-seeded teams to lose in the first round since the playoffs were expanded to a 16-team format in 1984.

"We did it with a lot of pride," Billups said. "Everybody kind of gave up on us and thought it was over."

The Pistons put an end to Orlando's hopes of advancing for the first time since 1996, when Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway led the Magic to a first-round sweep of Detroit.

Orlando had its only lead after scoring the first basket. The Pistons made nine of their first 11 shots to take a 20-8 lead midway through the first quarter. After Orlando pulled to within 31-30 early in the second quarter, the Pistons went on a 14-4 run to take command for good. The Magic cut the deficit to nine points early in the third quarter, but the Pistons turned the game into a rout with an 18-4 run.

Detroit's Richard Hamilton scored 22 points and Ben Wallace had 12 rebounds, seven points, five assists, five blocks and two steals.

Billups, a free-agent acquisition from Minnesota who scored a career-high 40 points in Game 6, made 11 of 19 shots and all 12 of his free throws.

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