SERIES: Eastern Conference first round; Pistons lead 3-1.
Chauncey Billups looks to continue his solid play in the postseason as the Pistons try to end their first-round series against the Sixers with a victory in Game 5.
Billups averaged 21.0 points on 51 percent shooting (29-for-57), and added 5.2 assists as Detroit beat the Los Angeles Lakers in five games last June to win its first title since 1990.
In Game 4 of this series on Sunday, he came up big again.
Billups scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Rasheed Wallace hit a couple of 3-pointers in overtime and Detroit overcame a strong effort by Allen Iverson to go up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series with a 97-92 victory in Philadelphia.
Billups is averaging 17.8 points, 6.8 assists and 6.0 rebounds in the series.
“That’s why I love him to death,” teammate Richard Hamilton said of Billups. “He’s not intimidated by any situation. He always finds a way to hit big shots.”
Billups scored 10 straight points for Detroit to end regulation, hitting two 3-pointers, a nice fadeaway and a couple of foul shots as the Pistons came back after falling behind by nine with just over 6 minutes left.
“It seemed like the tide was turning, nothing was really going good for us,” Billups said. “I wasn’t really making too many shots. I wanted to try. If I’m going to go down, I’m going to go down fighting.
“Shots just started going for me and we started to run a couple of plays for me.”
After Billups carried the Pistons in a frantic finish to the fourth quarter, Wallace hit a decisive 3-pointer with 1:29 left in OT. Hamilton, who finished with 20 points, hit a runner from the baseline with 14.5 seconds left before sealing the win with a couple of free throws.
Iverson again did his best to carry the Sixers, scoring 36 points on 14-for-24 shooting with eight assists.
Iverson did all he could in going over 30 points for the third time in the series, including a jumper with 28.3 seconds left in regulation that gave the Sixers a short-lived 82-80 lead.
“I don’t think we let them off the hook,” Iverson said. “We just couldn’t stop them when we needed to stop them.”
Billups hit a 3-pointer from the corner that gave the Pistons an 83-82 lead with 22 seconds left, but got a little too aggressive and fouled Willie Green with 3.1 seconds remaining.
But Green, a 78 percent free-throw shooter, missed the first attempt before hitting the second to tie the game.
“I was just concentrating on trying to sink it, but, unfortunately, I came up short on a free throw that could have won the game for us,” Green said.
Game 6, if necessary, will be Thursday in Philadelphia.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: 76ers - 7th seed. Pistons - 2nd seed.
PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: 76ers - Iverson, 30.5 ppg and 10.8 apg; Dalembert, 13.5 rpg. Pistons - Hamilton, 21.0 ppg; Ben Wallace, 12.0 rpg; Billups, 6.8 apg.