for this game

Pistons continue running the Bulls ragged

May 8, 2007 - 5:55 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Chicago Bulls won three of four games against the Detroit Pistons in the regular season. It looks like they will be lucky to win one against them in the playoffs.

Once again showing that the playoffs are a different animal, the Pistons raced out to an early lead and never looked back in posting a 108-87 victory over the Bulls in Game Two of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

In Game One two days ago, the Pistons found offensive balance and their trademark defense while humiliating the Bulls in a 95-69 rout.

"I guess the thing that is most surprising is that both games we were not very competitive," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. "Right from the jump ball they have owned us on both ends of the floor, so we have to go back now and regroup and try to get something done at home."

Detroit scored the game's first eight points and led, 34-18, after the first quarter en route to taking a 2-0 lead in the series.

Chris Webber scored 10 points for the Pistons in the first quarter and finished with 20 to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. He finished 10-of-11 from the field.

"He was just locked in and ready. When he got his opportunities, he took advantage," Pistons guard Chauncey Billups said. "He didn't waste dribbles with the ball, he shot it or went to the rack. He was great, man, he was great. He's Chris Webber, you know what I mean? This is really nothing new to him. This is what he's used to and what I'm used to seeing out of him."

The Bulls again struggled to guard Detroit's frontcourt as Webber was not the only Piston big man to have a huge game. Tayshaun Prince scored 25 points and Rasheed Wallace added 10 and seven rebounds despite playing only 18 minutes due to foul trouble.

"I just had to be aggressive to start the game off," Prince said. "Chauncey and Rip carried us in the first game so I just wanted to come out of the gate, be very aggressive, got a couple shots to fall for me and then once they went zone, I just kind of moved around a little bit."

All-Star guards Richard Hamilton and Billups also gave the Bulls fits. Hamilton scored 24 points and Billups added 14 and 10 assists for Detroit, which shot 53 percent (41-of-78) from the field.

Rookie Tyrus Thomas scored 18 points for Chicago, which shot 34 percent (23-of-67) from the field and was never in the game.

Billups hit consecutive 3-pointers in a 10-0 run that bridged the first and second quarters that gave Detroit a 42-18 lead. Hamilton capped that spurt with a pair of free throws and his jumper in the lane just before the half put the Pistons up 58-43.

Chicago never got the lead below 13 in the second half and will need to regroup for Game 3, which is Thursday in Chicago.

"We did a good job of not giving it up (home court)," Billups said. "We look forward to the challenge of trying to steal Game 3."

Thomas scored on consecutive dunks to make it 83-70 with 9:20 to play, but the Pistons quickly extinguished any hopes the Bulls had at a comeback.

Wallace dunked on Thomas and Billups drained a 3-pointer to make it 98-80 with 6:17 remaining, and the Pistons cruised home to improve to 6-0 in the playoffs.

If the Bulls are going to get back into the series, they will have to find a way to get their scorers more involved.

Luol Deng had 16 points but was just 4-of-12 from the field. The backcourt duo of Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich also struggled. Gordon was 3-of-7 and had 13 points while Hinrich missed all seven of his shots and had two points.

"It was very discouraging. I thought they were just doing everything correct on their end," Gordon said. "It seemed like we couldn't make them miss. They're just playing at a higher level, it seems. A lot of the stuff they were doing early on we just didn't have an answer for. That's something we're going to have to, if we want to be competitive in this series and win the next couple of games, we are going to have to figure it out quick."

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