|Billups, Hamilton struggle for Pistons in Game 3|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 27 May 2007 18:32|
Hamilton scored just seven points on 2-for-8 shooting and Billups finished with 13 after going 4-for-14, forcing Detroit to rely on Rasheed Wallace and Chris Webber offensively Sunday night.
``If Rip and me are having a bad night at the same time, it's going to be tough for us to win,'' Billups said. ``It doesn't happen often.''
For the second straight year, the Pistons found their lead cut to 2-1 in a playoff series against Cleveland, losing 88-82 Sunday night in the Eastern Conference finals.
They want to avoid a repeat of last year's script, in which the Cavaliers won three straight and forced Detroit to a Game 7.
Billups didn't think Cleveland did anything special to throw the Pistons off offensively.
``Tonight neither one of us could really get going, and it was kind of funny, we still had chances to win the game,'' Billups said.
The Pistons also struggled to defend LeBron James for the first time in the series and he finished with 32 points.
With 20,000-towel twirling fans wearing wine-colored ``Beat Detroit!'' the Pistons tried to come back in the fourth quarter.
But Tayshaun Prince missed a wide-open 3-pointer that could have pulled Detroit within one in the closing seconds. Billups hit a few big buckets late, but it wasn't enough.
Detroit allowed Cleveland to shoot 49 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers.
The Pistons again won the third quarter, but this time only 20-16 after decisively outscoring Cleveland 22-13 in the third quarter of Game 2 and 21-14 in Game 1.