Pistons complete first-round sweep of Magic
With plenty of free throws plus 25 points from Chauncey billups and double-digit scoring from the other four starters the Detroit Pistons completed a four-game first round sweep of the Orlando Magic in the 2007 NBA Playoffs, winning the series 4 games to 0.
All playoff series are best-of-seven. The first team to win four games advances to the next round.
Dwight Howard finally stepped up, delivering 29 points and 17 rebounds. It was his only dominant performance in the series.
Orlando made a nice run in the fourth quarter, but the grizzlied Piston veterans refused to collapse. Detroit was down five points with about three minutes to go, but each Pistons starter made key plays to secure the win.
The Pistons starters delivered. Billups shot 6-of-12, plus 10-of-10 free throws to get his 25 points. He also added four rebounds and six assists. Chris Webber (5-of-8) had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Rasheed Wallace (3-of-9) had 13 points and 8 rebounds. Richard Hamilton (6-of-13) had 19 points, though he did little else aside from committing four turnovers. Tayshaun prince (4-of-7) had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.
For the Magic, Howard (10-of-15) got to the free throw line 17 times, but only hit nine attempts. Those misses turned out to be key. But the loss wasn't his fault. Hedo Turkoglu (3-of-13) was off, delivering just 6 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Grant Hill (7-of-8) was extremely efficient with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Jameer Nelson (4-of-10) was quiet, fouling out with 11 points and 3 assists.
This could be the last time Hill plays for the Magic. He's an NBA free agent this summer.
Orlando did get nice bench contributions from Darko Milicic (14 points, 6 rebounds) and Keyon Dooling (11 points, 3 rebounds).
Both teams shot well in this game, but the free throws made the difference. Detroit hit 31-of-38, while Orlando hit just 19-of-31.
In the second round Detroit will face the winner of the Chicago-Miami series. The Bulls currently lead the series 3-0. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit.