Pistons bury Bulls in Round 2 opener

The Detroit Pistons turned determination into a dominant performance, reminiscent of some of their wins en route to the 2004 NBA title. Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton each scored 20 points, leading Detroit to a 95-69 rout over the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday night. The Pistons were aggressive on defense, clogging passing lanes with their feet and hands. They caused problems at the other end of the court, too, playing unselfishly to help five players score in double figures. Before the game, Pistons coach Flip Saunders said his team is totally different than it was at this time last year because of a renewed focus. Detroit is still kicking itself for losing to Miami in the conference finals last year — after winning the title in 2004 and coming just short of repeating — and vowed to show how determined it is to at least get back to the NBA finals. The Eastern Conference’s top-seeded team will have a shot if it keeps playing this way.

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