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Anatomy of a BLOWOUT
Jack McCallum
June 28, 2004
The Pistons' five-game defeat of the heavily favored Lakers was as thorough as it was stunning, due in part to Detroit's balanced offense (all five starters scored in double figures) and a D that held L.A. to 41.6% shooting from the field. Here's a dissection of some other key stats from the final Finals box.
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June 28, 2004

Anatomy Of A Blowout

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The Pistons' five-game defeat of the heavily favored Lakers was as thorough as it was stunning, due in part to Detroit's balanced offense (all five starters scored in double figures) and a D that held L.A. to 41.6% shooting from the field. Here's a dissection of some other key stats from the final Finals box.

1 Tipping point
Here's why Chauncey Billups was Finals MVP: 50.9% shooting from the field and 92.9% from the line (not to mention 47.1% on threes).

2 Time well spent
Rasheed Wallace averaged only 30.2 minutes-fewer per game than the hobbled Karl Malone—but led the Pistons in blocked shots and was third in scoring.

3 Glass act
At 6'9" and 215 pounds, Tayshaun Prince had as many offensive rebounds (15) as 7'1", 345-pound Shaquille O'Neal, helping Detroit gain a 72-52 advantage for the series.

4 Ref treatment
The Pistons shot 60 more free throws than the Lakers' 111 and were whistled for 39 fewer fouls.

5 A little help here?
O'Neal averaged 26.6 points and Kobe Bryant 22.6, but the next highest scorer was backup point guard Derek Fisher (6.4).

6 Life on the outside
That's where Bryant spent most of the series, as evidenced by his lack of rebounding (2.8 per game) and his long-distance jacks (20.4% of his field goal attempts were threes).

7 Glove lost
Gary Payton scored only 21 points in the series, or 84 fewer than Billups, his point guard counterpart, and as many as Detroit reserve Corliss Williamson, who played 116 fewer minutes.

8 Caged Fox
Three-time champ Rick Fox played only 30 minutes for the Lakers, even though he totaled more assists (seven) in that time than Kareem Rush and Slava Medvedenko did in 150 minutes (five combined).

9 Purple rain of bricks
While O'Neal's marksmanship from the field was superb (63.1%), the rest of the Lakers shot an abysmal 35.5% (105 of 296).

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