CHICAGO - Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups stepped up at just the right time, and the Detroit Pistons are on the verge of another series sweep.
Prince scored 23 points and Billups added 21, and the Pistons rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls, 81-74, last night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Pistons, who swept Orlando in the first round, will try to wrap up this one Sunday at the United Center.
No NBA team has won a best-of-seven series after dropping the first three games, and only three major professional teams have done that - the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2004 Boston Red Sox.
Prince scored 13 points in the third quarter and Billups added 10. Rasheed Wallace had a block in the closing seconds and hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull Detroit within 61-60. He then put them ahead with a jumper just under two minutes into the fourth and added a three-pointer that made it a five-point game midway through the quarter.
"I was encouraged. We knew at the start of the game we allowed them to take the first punch and we weren't as aggressive as we should have been," Billups said. Then he explained the comeback:
"It was our defensive pressure. It allowed us to get in the passing lanes, get steals. We had settled too much. In the second half, we got aggressive and played Piston basketball."
Luol Deng led Chicago with 21 points, but was just 8 for 22 from the field. The Bulls were 28 of 83 (33.7 percent), almost the same percentage (33.6) they managed in the first two games.
Ben Gordon scored 16 points for Chicago but was 4 for 16 from the field, while Hinrich had 13 points. Ben Wallace showed up at the arena about 1 hour, 15 minutes before tipoff and finished with five points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
All-NBA team. Steve Nash was a unanimous selection to the all-NBA team yesterday and was joined by Phoenix Suns teammate Amare Stoudemire on a squad made up entirely of Western Conference players.
Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, San Antonio forward Tim Duncan and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, the league's leading scorer, rounded out the first team.
Nash, the league's two-time defending MVP, received 129 first-place votes and 645 total points from the panel of 129 media members.
Nash led the NBA in assists during the regular season with a career-high 11.6 per game.
Cleveland's LeBron James, the top vote-getter for last year's all-NBA team, dropped to the second team this season. He was joined by Washington's Gilbert Arenas, Houston's Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, and Toronto's Chris Bosh.
The third team: Miami's Dwyane Wade, Detroit's Chauncey Billups, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, Denver's Carmelo Anthony and Orlando's Dwight Howard.
Rivers gets extension. The Boston Celtics extended the contract of coach Doc Rivers after a season in which the NBA's most decorated franchise lost a team-record 18 consecutive games and finished with the second-worst record in the league.
The team would not disclose financial terms or length of the extension.
Surgery for Wade. Miami Heat coach Pat Riley said he expects Wade to undergo surgery next week and is not certain the guard will be available by the start of next season.