PORTLAND, ORE., JUNE 11 -- Detroit Pistons guard Joe Dumars has decided to remain here with his team for the next two games of the NBA Finals, and will probably play against the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night in Game 4.

Dumars did not go home Sunday to be with his family following the death of his father. It had been believed that he would fly to Michigan to pick up his wife, then to Louisiana, where his father, Joe Jr., died of congestive heart failure Sunday afternoon.

But the elder Dumars's funeral is not until Saturday afternoon. The younger Dumars decided to play Game 4 and Thursday's Game 5, then fly home for the services and return to Detroit if a Game 6 is necessary Sunday afternoon.

"It was Joe's decision," teammate Isiah Thomas said. "It's not the team's decision . . . it's a tough, emotional time for him. We'll just kind of ride with whatever's going on."

Dumars had dinner with Thomas and his wife Sunday evening, and apparently during that time he changed his mind about going home.

Assistant coach Brendan Malone said Dumars called his mother "and found out that the funeral wasn't until Saturday. So he decided to stay . . . He had a long conversation with Isiah in his room after the game. Lynn {Thomas's wife} told me he was composed and he was taking it as best he could under the circumstances."

Dumars scored 33 points Sunday, two points short of his playoff career high. Under a prior arrangement made with his wife, Debbie, he was not told about his father's death until after the game.

Dumars practiced with the Pistons this afternoon, though understandably he was not available during the pre-practice interview sessions.

All of this made discussing game strategies rather inconsequential, but nonetheless, there is a crucial game for Portland tonight. To add to the Trail Blazers' plight, Detroit forward Dennis Rodman will play tonight after missing Game 3 with a sprained ankle and bone chips. He will not start, however, as the Pistons will continue with Mark Aguirre.

The Trail Blazers have other adjustments to make, particularly in their temperament. They wailed about the officiating in Game 3, in which Bill Laimbeer irritated them with what the Trail Blazers felt were flops to the floor on the slightest contact and body brushes on drives to the basket.

"They could have cried in Game 2, where we got two calls down the stretch," forward Buck Williams said. "I'm not here to complain about the fouls. Hopefully we have to play a lot smarter and whatever way the game is being officiated, we have to make that adjustment and alter the way we're playing out on the floor."

There has been little rhyme or reason to the officiating, but it hasn't favored one team. Detroit shot 18 more free throws in Game 1, but Portland came right back with 18 more in Game 2. And though a lot of the Trail Blazers were in foul trouble Sunday, it was Detroit that picked up more technical fouls.

Laimbeer did a lot more than flop. He grabbed 12 tough rebounds and threw each of Detroit's front-court players off their game. Now they know, as much of the Eastern Conference does, how maddening it is to play against him.

Said Laimbeer: "They're big, physical guys who like to get straight from point A to point B. When you try to take away where they want to go, they just try to get there anyway, even if someone's in the way."

Detroit also had great success with its three-guard rotation of Thomas, Dumars and Vinnie Johnson. The Pistons went to the lineup at the start of the second quarter only because Portland had three guards in the game, but it wound up that Detroit enjoyed a prohibitive, 75-49 advantage in points from its back court. Johnson scored 21 points after missing 22 of his previous 25 shots in the playoffs.

The three-guard set gave Portland plenty of trouble defensively. Johnson was wide open for several shots, as was Dumars. The Trail Blazers allowed all kinds of penetration, which led to the open jumpers and layins, and 53 percent shooting.

Also, Aguirre's presence simply makes Detroit a better offensive team.

"Rodman's an offensive liability," Thomas said, "but he makes up for it defensively. When Mark is in the offense and playing with the starting unit, everybody {on defense} has to more or less stay at home and everybody has to take care of their own man. That enables everybody {on offense} to be playing one-on-one . . . we become a much smoother unit."

Offensively, Portland would actually enjoy it if Detroit went back to that alignment.

"It really presented a problem because we had the foul trouble with {center Kevin} Duckworth and Buck Williams," Portland Coach Rick Adelman said. "I feel that if we can stay out of foul trouble, we can hurt them if they do that again. I can put {Jerome} Kersey on one of their guys and they're going to have to guard him around the basket. I was unable to do that because we had to play Jerome at power forward."