Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, left, dunks over Philadelphia 76ers guard Willie Green (33) during the third quarter at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich., Tuesday, May 3, 2005. Prince scored 14 points in the Pistons' 88-78 win over the 76ers. With the win, the Pistons advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs.
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. The defending NBA champions were at their best when it mattered most.
Richard Hamilton scored 10 of his 23 points in the final quarter as the Detroit Pistons followed three lackluster quarters with a dominant fourth and eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers 88-78 Tuesday night in Game 5 of their first-round series.
''We just didn't want to let this game slip away,'' Hamilton said. ''The fourth quarter we always say is our quarter.''
Detroit trailed for much of the game, but went ahead 62-61 when Tayshaun Prince made the first basket of the fourth quarter. An 8-0 run gave the Pistons an 80-69 lead with 4:48 left.
''They seem to flip a switch and turn it up on offense and defense,'' Sixers coach Jim O'Brien said. ''Championship teams can do that.''
The Pistons will play next against Indiana or Boston.
Allen Iverson scored 34 points, playing the last 10:56 after hurting his right ankle. Iverson landed awkwardly after missing a shot and was crumpled on the court before being helped to the bench. He had his right ankle taped and was quickly back in the game.
''I admire what he did,'' said Pistons coach Larry Brown, who coached Iverson for six seasons in Philadelphia before leaving for Detroit two years ago. ''It was very courageous.''
Pacers 90, Celtics 85
BOSTON Jermaine O'Neal scored 19 points and Stephen Jackson hit a big 3-pointer that helped hold off a Celtics' comeback and give the Indiana Pacers a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.
Boston had whittled a 15-point, third-quarter to 2 after Paul Pierce's 3-pointer made it 80-78 with 4:26 left. A basket by O'Neal made it 82-78 before Pierce sank a jumper. Then Jackson scored the last of his 15 points on a 3-pointer with 2:38 remaining for an 85-80 edge.
SuperSonics 122, Kings 118
SEATTLE Ray Allen scored 30 points and Rashard Lewis added 10 of his 24 in the fourth quarter as the Sonics eliminated the Kings 4-1 and advanced in the playoffs for the first time since 1998. They'll meet the survivor of the San Antonio-Denver series, which the Spurs lead 3-1.
Allen, coming off a 45-point performance in Game 4, was smothered by double teams all night, but the Sonics supported him with a solid team effort reflected by seven players scoring in double figures.
Reserve forward Nick Collison had 15 points and nine rebounds, Antonio Daniels scored 14, Jerome James added 11 points and six rebounds and Reggie Evans and Luke Ridnour each scored 10.
The Kings hadn't exited in the first round since 2000, when they lost a decisive fifth game to the Lakers. Peja Stojakovic had 38 points and Mike Bibby 35, but Stojakovic missed his first six shots of the fourth quarter when the Kings needed him most.
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