As you know by now, the Sixers stole one from the Pistons in game one of the seven game series. Haven't caught Sixers fever just yet? No worries, our buddy Goot wrote up a nice quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the game.
Thaddeus Young got the start and made Mo look good, with an early steal, dunk, and a couple of nice put backs. Rasheed Wallace heated up and scored 8 of the Piston's first 12 points. The Sixers shooting went cold and they didn't hit a shot in the last 4:28 of the quarter allowing the Pistons to take a 27-22 lead after 1.
The Sixers playoff inexperience showed in the 2nd quarter, they had too many turnovers, poor shot selection, and the Pistons owned the glass. After a 'Sheed 3 to put the Pistons up 11, Mo realized he need Reggie Evans and Dalembert in to defend against 'Sheed and bench player Jason Maxiell(who ended with 10pts and 9reb. at the half). The refs wanted to make sure 'Sheeds stat line was full and T'ed him up for arguing a foul called against Prince. The Sixers entered the locker room down 13, 31-58.
The Sixers were determined to make this a game and came out hot, going
on an 8-0 run to start the half. After a Pistons' timeout, they
answered with a 9-0 run of their own. After trading a few shots, the
Sixers went on another 10-0 run and eventually ended the quarter down
Andre Miller came out like a man possessed and stole the ball from
Hamilton and hit a layup to set the tone. Miller went on to score 12
of his 20 points in the first 6 minutes of the quarter and the Sixers
took their first lead since the 1st, 78-77. Reggie Evans hit a
turnaround at the top of circle as the shot clock expired to keep the
Sixers ahead. 92% free throw shooter Chancey Billups missed 3 of 4
foul shots and Lou Williams hit a 19-footer, and the Sixers held a
84-80 lead with 2 minutes to play. The Sixers came out of a timeout and
Iguodala booted the ball driving to the net, the Pistons scored on
their next possession down the floor to pull within 2. Andre Miller
missed a running jumper and Reggie Evans was there to tip in to put the
Sixers up 86-82. 'Sheed takes off his headband to show he means
business and draws a foul at the other end and knocks down his foul
shots. Iguodala got fouled, made his first, missed his second, and
Maxiell got called for a lane violation, but Iguodala missed again.
Billups regained his form and sunk 2 foul shots to pull within 1. The
Sixers got the ball out of a timeout and Iguodala made a pass to Sammy,
who then got called for an offensive foul (personally, I think it was a
bad call; Maxiell got to the spot after Sammy was already in the
air). With 26 seconds left on the clock, the Sixers were up 1 and the
Pistons had the ball. The Sixers defense clamped down, Tayshaun Prince
missed a 19 footer, and Iguodala collected the rebound and got fouled
at 11 seconds. With Iguodala at the line, he missed his first...
NOOoooo.. but hit his second to put the Sixers up 2. Pistons took
their last timeout. Right before play was about to start, 'Sheed leans
in on the Sixers huddle. He had a smile on his face, but that's messed
up... you don't pull that crap in the playoffs. The Pistons run their
play and it's to 'Sheed, Karma pays him back and he misses it .
Iguodala secures the rebound, gets fouled, and thankfully makes both
shots to end the game.
If the Sixers are going to stay in this series, Reggie Evans (11-14)
needs remain a factor down low, Rasheed Wallace (24-9, 7 blocks) and
Maxiell (11-12, 6 off) were eating them up in the second quarter. The
Sixers really stepped up the defense in the second half, when they held
to Pistons to 35 points on top of 39% shooting for the game. Andre
Miller took the game over to begin the 4th and was the primary reason
the Sixers pulled out a win. The Sixers need to make their free
throws, and they were lucky to win after shooting 19 of 27 at the line.
It's not often Chauncey Billups is going to miss 3 free throws in the
4th quarter. Game 2 is set Wednesday night 7:30pm.