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Pistons Simply Can't Stop 76ers

May 11, 2003|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Dominating the rebounding matchups and outscoring Detroit, 38-16, in the paint, the Philadelphia 76ers got back into their second-round Eastern Conference series by defeating the Pistons, 93-83, Saturday night to cut the Pistons' lead to 2-1.

Led by big men Kenny Thomas, Derrick Coleman and Tyrone Hill, the 76ers outrebounded the Pistons, 48-30, and scored 27 second-chance points in a one-sided game that offered little suspense in the second half.

"We played awful. Horribly," Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said. "They killed us on the boards -- especially offensive rebounds."

Thomas had a double-double before halftime and finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds -- five on the offensive end -- before pulling a leg muscle late in the third quarter. He said his injury was not serious.

Hill had nine points and six rebounds in 22 minutes, but that was still more than Detroit's Ben Wallace managed to contribute in 36 minutes. The NBA's leading rebounder was held to six points and six rebounds.

"His numbers may not look as good as normal, but I don't question his heart or effort," Detroit Coach Rick Carlisle said. "He'll bounce back [today], and we'll bounce back [today]."

Game 4 is at Philadelphia today at 5 p.m. PDT.

Allen Iverson had 25 points and 11 assists, Keith Van Horn had his best game of the series with 17 points, and Coleman added 15 points and eight rebounds. The 76ers grabbed one-third of their rebounds on the offensive end.

All five Philadelphia starters reached double figures as the 76ers avoided falling behind, 3-0 -- a deficit no NBA team has overcome.

"This was enormous," 76er Coach Larry Brown said.

"It does something for our psyche, the mental aspect," Iverson said. "We come into our own crib and are able to win decisively. It gives us a lot of motivation going into the next game."

Thomas strained his right quadriceps muscle while going for a rebound and left for good with 3:50 left in the third quarter.

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