- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 6, 2008

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Pistons took advantage of what seemed to be a little help from the scorer’s table in their win over the Orlando Magic.

Chauncey Billups scored 28 points, three on a disputed shot at the end of the third quarter, as Detroit beat Orlando for a 100-93 win last night and a 2-0 lead in the second-round series.

“It’s tough to be on the other end of that play,” Billups said. “But I’ll take it.”

Billups officially made a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in the third, ending a play that started with 5.1 seconds and seemed to take a fraction of a second longer using replays the officials didn’t use during a five-minute delay.

The shot put Detroit ahead 78-76.

Lead official Steve Javie declined to be interviewed by a pool reporter during a timeout and ignored another reporter shouting to speak with him after the game ended.

“They had to estimate how much time [was left], and they estimated 4.6 seconds,” Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. “That’s almost funny.

“What can you do? They were put in a very tough situation on that call.”

Even though TNT — a broadcast partner of the NBA — had the ability to show a real-time replay with a clock superimposed on the screen, the league’s replay rules don’t allow for reviewing a play to determine when the clock started.

“Steve Javie told me that with the technology they have, they should be able to go over and look at that,” Van Gundy said. “They did not have that available. He was frustrated by that — probably not quite as much as us.”

The Magic still had a chance to win despite trailing by 14 in the first half.

Orlando had the ball down by two points late in the game, but Rashard Lewis missed a running scoop shot, Dwight Howard just missed on a putback, and Hedo Turkoglu couldn’t grab the offensive rebound.

Magic reserve Keyon Dooling fouled Richard Hamilton before the ensuing pass was made from the sideline, giving Detroit a free throw — made by Hamilton — and the ball.

Billups then made two free throws to put Detroit ahead by five points with 10.9 seconds left to seal the win.

Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is tomorrow night in Orlando.

The Magic likely head home bitter about a call that went against them and some strong performances that went all for naught.

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