Philly hits boards, grabs win at home

Posted: Sunday, May 11, 2003

PHILADELPHIA Every time there was a missed shot, the Philadelphia 76ers showed just how desperate they were.

Dominating the rebounding matchup and outscoring Detroit 38-16 on points in the paint, the 76ers got back into their second-round series by defeating Detroit 93-83 Saturday night to cut the Pistons' lead in the series to 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday night.

Led by big men Kenny Thomas, Derrick Coleman and Tyrone Hill, the 76ers outrebounded the Pistons 48-30 and scored 27 second-chance points in a one-sided game that offered little suspense in the second half.

We played awful. Horribly,'' Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said. They killed us on the boards especially offensive rebounds.''

Thomas had a double-double before halftime and finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds five on the offensive end before pulling a leg muscle late in the third quarter. He said his injury was not serious.

Hill had nine points and six rebounds in just 22 minutes, but that was still more than Detroit's Ben Wallace managed to contribute in 36 minutes. The NBA's leading rebounder was held to six points and six rebounds.

His numbers may not look as good as normal, but I don't question his heart or effort,'' Detroit coach Rick Carlisle said. He'll bounce back tomorrow, and we'll bounce back tomorrow.''

Allen Iverson had 25 points and 11 assists, Keith Van Horn had his best game of the series with 17 points, and Coleman added 15 points and eight rebounds. The 76ers grabbed one-third of their rebounds on the offensive end.

All five Philadelphia starters reached double figures as the Sixers avoided falling behind 3-0 a deficit no NBA team has ever overcome.

This was enormous,'' Sixers coach Larry Brown said.

It does something for our psyche, the mental aspect,'' Iverson said. We come into our own crib and are able to win decisively, it gives us a lot of motivation going into the next game.''

The Pistons might have point guard Chauncey Billups available for Game 4. A sprained ankle kept him sidelined for the second straight game, and Billups said afterward he's 50-50 for Sunday.

Richard Hamilton led Detroit with 24 points, Tayshaun Prince had 17 and Chucky Atkins had 13 filling in for Billups. No one else on the team scored more than seven.

Thomas strained his right quadriceps muscle while going for a rebound against Wallace and left for good with 3:50 left in the third quarter.

By then, the Sixers were ahead 64-44, and they never needed Thomas back. Van Horn made a 3-pointer 14 seconds later to give Philadelphia its largest lead 22.

Jon Barry hit a 3-pointer with 3:12 left to pull the Pistons to 86-75, but Iverson scored Philadelphia's next five points to keep it from getting any closer.

The 76ers asserted themselves on the boards early. When Hill grabbed the third offensive rebound of a single possession and turned it into a three-point play for a 23-18 lead, it gave Philadelphia a 17-4 edge in rebounding.

Mavericks 141, Kings 137, 2OT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Walt Williams was supposed to be a Sacramento star 11 years ago, when the Kings chose him with the seventh pick in the 1992 draft.

On Saturday night he starred against them, scoring all 10 of his points in two overtimes as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Kings 141-137 to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Nick Van Exel scored 40 points off the bench and Steve Nash had 31 to lead four players with 20 or more points for the Mavericks.

The Mavs rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, then prevailed in two back-and-forth extra periods to beat an inspired Kings team determined to show it could win without star Chris Webber, who is out for the rest of the playoffs with an injured knee.

Dirk Nowitzki, averaging 27.9 points in the playoffs, had 25 points and 20 rebounds. He scored 24 in the Mavs' 132-110 victory in Game 2 on Thursday, in which they scored an NBA playoff-record 83 points in the first half. Nowitzki made several pretty turnaround jumpers on Saturday night, and almost always did it with a hand in his face.

Webber, limping around the sideline in a brown pinstriped suit, sighed, and his look said it all.

Peja Stojakovic delivered the brilliant performance the Kings desperately needed, but Sacramento couldn't convert when it counted the most.

Stojakovic scored a career playoff-high 39 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists. Six other players scored in double figures for Sacramento, with Vlade Divac finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Doug Christie added 18 points, including two big 3-pointers in the first overtime.

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