April 23, 2008
Fast Breaks: Pistons-76ers
By Bryan Armen Graham
Game 2   Leaders
Series tied 1-1   Points Rebounds Assists
105 88
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
• Detroit's business-like approach to Game 2 stood in stark contrast with the laissez-faire, just-roll-it-out-and-play attitude that prevailed in Sunday's series opener. Improved concentration on both ends of the court was evident early as the Pistons made 24-of-40 shots during the first half -- a 60 percent clip -- to take a 53-36 lead at the break. Detroit fought, scratched and clawed on every possession, taking the Sixers to the woodshed on the offensive boards to prolong possessions and generate second-chance opportunities. After halftime, the Pistons slammed the door on Philly's comeback hopes with a strong defensive performance during the third quarter, limiting the Sixers to four field goals as the lead ballooned to 26 points.

• Tayshaun Prince bottled up Andre Iguodala (right) once again, limiting Philadelphia's nascent star to a season-low four points on 1-of-8 shooting. Iguodala missed his first seven shots from the field and didn't crack the scorebook until the eight-minute mark of the third quarter. Going up against a lengthy veteran defender like Prince has proved a frustrating experience for Iguodala -- but also a character-building one. Whether the fourth-year swingman can solve the unique challenges Prince presents as the series shifts to Philadelphia remains to be seen.

• Having already seized home-court advantage from the Pistons with a 90-86 victory in Game 1, the Sixers didn't need to win Wednesday's second contest. They just needed to play a competitive game, to push and challenge the hosts throughout four quarters and let the Pistons know that Sunday's upset was no fluke. In this sense, Game 2 couldn't have possibly gone worse from Philadelphia's point of view. The Sixers never led after Willie Green's game-opening jumper and Detroit's starters enjoyed long spells on the bench during the fourth quarter -- after outhustling and outworking Philly during the first three.

• For the second straight game, Maurice Cheeks opted to defend Rasheed Wallace one-on-one with Samuel Dalembert, practically daring the Philadelphia native to take the offense into his own hands. And for the second straight game, Wallace issued an emphatic response to the challenge by making the Sixers pay early. The mercurial post man had 11 points, four rebounds and one blocked shot during the first quarter, capping the period with a 25-footer on a high screen-and-roll to open a 25-16 advantage.

• Detroit's balanced, equal-opportunity offense was clicking on all cylinders, but Antonio McDyess was a particularly sharp thorn in Philadelphia's side. McDyess showcased his range during the first three quarters, canning his first five shots from distances of 12, 18, 16, 19 and 15 feet. McDyess finished the night with 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, helping the Pistons level the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.

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