Pistons advance

Posted: Friday, May 03, 2002

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons proved all season that they could win without Jerry Stackhouse carrying the scoring load. They did it again Thursday night, right when it really counted.

Stack-house had only five points, but his first field goal after an 0-for-8 start put Detroit ahead to stay with 1:43 left as the Pistons eliminated the Toronto Raptors 85-82 in Game 5 of their first-round series.

The Pistons are in the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 1991, and Stackhouse advances for the first time in his seven-year career.

All eyes were on Stackhouse, especially after he joked before Game 3 that he wanted to end the series because he had plans for the following day.

''Everyone outside this room said all the weight was on me, but that's not how this team works,'' said Stackhouse, who was 1-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 at the line. ''Our veteran guys, like Cliff (Robinson), Corliss (Williamson) and Jon Barry stepped up and won the game for us.''

The Raptors had a chance to become just the seventh team to overcome a 2-0 deficit to win a best-of-five series. But they made only one basket in the final 2 1/2 minutes, and Chris Childs forced up a terrible shot with 7 seconds left on Toronto's final possession.

Detroit will play the winner of the Boston-Philadelphia series, with Game 1 set for Sunday.

Stackhouse's shot from just inside the free throw line put Detroit ahead 81-79.

Nets 120, Pacers 109

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Kidd scored 20 of his career playoff-best 31 points in the fourth quarter and two overtimes as the Nets eliminated Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers in the deciding Game 5 of their first-round series.

Miller was at his best under pressure, hitting from 35 feet to force overtime and tying the game again on a two-handed dunk with 3.1 seconds left in the first overtime. But he went 0-for-4 in the second overtime -- all on 3-point shots.

It marked only the second time since the Nets joined the NBA in 1976-77 that they have made it out of the first round.

Kenyon Martin added 29 points and Keith Van Horn had 27 before fouling out as New Jersey advanced to a best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal against the Charlotte Hornets. Miller finished with 31 points and Ron Mercer had 20 in only the third series-deciding playoff game in NBA history to go to double-overtime.



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