Richard Hamilton hit his first five shots during Detroit's overpowering start, and the Pistons rolled into the second round of the playoffs by crushing the Philadelphia 76ers 100-77 on Thursday to win the series 4-2.
|Defensive powerhouse Rasheed Wallace [AFP]|
The Pistons convincingly won the last two games of a series that wasn't expected to last this long and will host the Orlando Magic, who eliminated Toronto in five games, on Saturday in the opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Detroit split four meetings with the Southeast Division champions this season.
Hamilton finished with 24 points, 13 in the decisive first quarter when he outscored the 76ers by himself.
Chauncey Billups added 20 and Tayshaun Prince had 12 for the Pistons, who reached the second round for the seventh straight season.
They were all on the bench for nearly the entire fourth quarter, when the lead ballooned over 30 points.
Detroit held Philadelphia without a field goal for nearly the first 6 minutes of the game, ending any real hopes the Sixers' had of forcing a Game 7 back in Michigan.
Andre Iguodala scored 16 points and Andre Miller had another quiet game with 11 for the Sixers, who outplayed the heavily favored Pistons for the first 3½ games of the series but never really had a chance after that.
The second-seeded Pistons won 59 games during the regular season, second-best in the NBA behind Boston. But they quickly found themselves trailing the upstart 76ers, who were just 40-42, 2-1 then fell behind by 10 points at halftime of Game 4.
Detroit rallied to win that game, then trailed for only 23 seconds over the final two mismatches.
As easy as the Pistons' 98-81 victory in Game 5 was, they had even less trouble in this one, racing to a 10-0 lead and never giving the disappointing crowd of 14,130 a chance to get into the game.