The Detroit Pistons are one win away from advancing to the second round of the National Basketball Association playoffs after taking a three-games-to-none lead in their best-of-seven series with the Orlando Magic.
Detroit got 23 points from Tayshaun Prince, and 21 from Chauncy Billups in a 93-77 shellacking of the Magic Thursday in Orlando. The Pistons can move to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a victory in game four Saturday in Orlando.
In the West, Los Angeles star Kobe Bryant scored 45 points to lead the Lakers 95-89 over the Phoenix Suns, who lead the series two-games-to-one. The Lakers rallied from an early 17-point deficit to win at home. Game four is Sunday in L.A.
The host Utah Jazz won their first game of the post-season, routing the sluggish Houston Rockets 81-67. Utah can even the series at two games apiece at home Saturday in game four.
NBA playoff action continues Friday with three contests.
In the East, the Chicago Bulls will try to remain unbeaten when they take on the defending champion Miami Heat in game three of their best-of-seven series.
The NBA-leading Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors in the West, and the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets in the East will battle for the lead in the third games of their series.