Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sixers come from behind to shock Pistons

The never-say-die Sixers, who have routinely made double digit comebacks this season, pulled off the biggest upset so far of the NBA Playoffs, knocking off the Detroit Pistons 90-86 despite trailing by 15 points as late as the halfway point of the third quarter.

Most experts didn't give the Sixers a chance in this series, and through the first two and a half quarters of the game, everything went according to plan for Detroit. The Sixers never gave up, and went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter to claw their way back in the game. The Sixers continued to fight back until Reggie Evans hit two free throws with 5 minutes left in the game that gave them a lead that they never relinquished. The Pistons had their chances to salvage a win, but Chauncey Billups, normally known as Mr. Clutch, struggled to make free throws down the stretch and the Sixers defense clamped down to make the necessary stops.

The Sixers, as they have been all season, were led by Andre Miller who scored 20 points and picked up 6 assists. Willie Green made several big baskets that sparked the Sixer comeback and finished with 17 points. Andre Iguodala shot poorly (4 of 15) but filled up his score sheet with a great all-around game, notching 16 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. He also made two huge free throws with seven seconds left to secure the victory for Philly. Samuel Dalembert played good defense and tallied 4 blocked shots and 10 rebounds. Reggie Evans also grabbed 14 rebounds to go with his 11 points.

The Pistons looked like they were on auto-pilot for most of the game. They didn't have much intensity, and their lackluster play allowed the Sixers to surge back into the game. The Sixers should feel good about knocking them off, but this loss could just be a wake-up call for the Pistons to pick their game up. You can bet Rasheed Wallace will have them pumped up and they won't take the Sixers lightly from here on out.

The Sixers have already succeeded in getting the attention of the Pistons, and while I expect them to get drubbed by Detroit in Game Two, they still have a shot to pull off an upset in this series if they can take care of their home court. This series is far from over, but the Sixers have already proven to the NBA that you have to take them seriously. Teams that don't play their "A" game for 48 minutes will pay the price against this young, upstart Sixers team.

Click below for highlights of the exciting Sixers victory, plus interviews with Andre Miller, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace, who blames himself for the loss. Courtesy of ESPN

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