Cloudy Currently: Auburn Hills, MI
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EDT Wed Apr 26, 2006

PLAYOFF SERIES: Eastern Conference first round; Pistons lead 1-0.

The Detroit Pistons look for another dominating defensive effort as they try to go up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference first-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Detroit defeated Milwaukee 92-74 in Game 1 on Sunday, holding the Bucks to their lowest field-goal percentage (35.6) and points this season. Michael Redd, who averaged 30 points on 55 percent shooting against the Pistons in the regular season, scored a season-low 11 on 4-for-15 shooting for Milwaukee.

“Whenever I got the ball, I had two or three guys around me,” Redd said. “They were really concentrating on me, to shut me down.”

Detroit finished third in the NBA this season by allowing opponents to score 90.2 points a game, but Bucks coach Terry Stotts had issues with the way the Pistons defended Redd in Game 1.

“I did think that Michael was being held and grabbed a lot,” Stotts said. “I’m just stating what I saw.”

Redd said he isn’t surprised the Pistons are making an effort to slow him down.

“To average 30 against Detroit, that’s a slap in their face,” Redd said. “They’re not going to take that. … Grabbing, holding, crowding, everything. So their focus is on me. It’s no secret.”

Rasheed Wallace said the Pistons’ focus was on erasing the memory of last season’s loss to San Antonio in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

“This is what we’ve been looking forward to all year,” he said.

Wallace scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half and Richard Hamilton had 21 before leaving with a sprained left ankle midway through the fourth quarter. Hamilton skipped Monday’s practice to get treatment, but is expected to play Wednesday.

“He’s going to be OK,” Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. “It’s probably good that we have a couple days off and don’t have a short turnaround, because it gives him more of a chance to get ready. We have the ability to get by without him, but he’s going to want to play.”

Detroit finished the regular season with an NBA-best 37-4 home record, and has won 16 of its last 20 playoff games at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Pistons have lost three straight Game 2s and four of their last five, dating to the 2004 NBA Finals. Before that stretch, they lost to Milwaukee two years ago in the second game of their first-round series.

The last time Detroit lost a series after winning Game 1 was to Boston in the 2002 conference semifinals. Milwaukee, meanwhile, fell to 2-11 in the playoffs against the Pistons and has won a series just three times in 25 opportunities after losing the opener.

“We have to make adjustments to get everyone involved even more,” Redd said. “We’ll make adjustments and be ready for Wednesday.”

Game 3 is Saturday night in Milwaukee.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Bucks - 8th seed. Pistons - 1st seed.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Bucks - F Bobby Simmons, F Andrew Bogut, C Jamaal Magloire, G T.J. Ford, G Redd. Pistons - F Rasheed Wallace, F Tayshaun Prince, C Ben Wallace, G Chauncey Billups, G Hamilton.

PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: Bucks - Charlie Bell, 13.0 ppg; Magloire, 9.0 rpg; Bogut and Ford, 3.0 apg. Pistons - Rasheed Wallace, 22.0 ppg; Ben Wallace, 17.0 rpg; Billups, 7.0 apg.

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