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L.A. Lakers 2, San Antonio 1
Game 4: Tue., 9 ET, at SAS
Boston 2, Detroit 2
Game 5: Wed., 8:30 ET, at BOS
Playoff Dimes Past: May 15 | 16 | 17 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Antonio McDyess had a hard time getting to his car on Monday night.A throng of well-wishers lined the Palace concourse walls as McDyess made his way from the postgame news conference to the players' parking lot after Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, dishing high-fives, back slaps and hugs to the Pistons' veteran forward. McDyess handled just about everything else with ease on Monday, leading the Detroit Pistons to a 94-75 win over the Boston Celtics with his 21-point, 16-rebound effort. McDyess, the Pistons' fifth option, made his first four shots from the field in Game 4, scoring eight of the Pistons' first 14 points en route to an 11-point first quarter. After one of his jumpers in the first, McDyess showed a rare display of emotion, spinning around and pumping his fist toward the frenzied home crowd. "I've never seen him with the emotion he has," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. " It's like he's got a new personality. He's definitely hungry, I know that. He has just been huge for us and basically carrying us." McDyess has played with a fire in his belly ever since joining the Pistons in the summer of 2004. He missed out on winning a championship by a season, and remains the only Pistons starter without a ring. McDyess might take losses harder than anyone else. This is a man who sat on the bench for nearly 10 minutes after the Pistons lost Game 5 of an East semifinals series against Cleveland in 2006 before driving home in his uniform; a man who paced the streets of his neighborhood after he was ejected in the first quarter of Game 5 against the Cavs in last year's conference finals; a man who played in Game 4 this year against Philadelphia after breaking his nose just two days earlier. On Sunday, the day after the Pistons lost Game 3 to the Celtics, McDyess and teammates Chauncey Billups and Juan Dixon hung around the team's practice facility and spoke positively about not letting another opportunity slip through their hands. A championship is what McDyess wants to define his career, and he realizes this might be his best -- and final -- opportunity at that. "Well, because I'm me, I'm almost to the end of the road," McDyess said. "You only have so many opportunities, and like I said, they're limited, especially for me. I'm at the end of my career, and I just feel like leaving everything out on the floor. There won't be no excuses. So I just tried to do that this year. Last year I was disappointed, definitely, the way we lost last year. This year I don't want to have no excuse if we lose. I know we left everything out on the floor." Chris Silva is a Detroit Free Press sportswriter.
Some facts to weigh heading into Game 4 of the Western Conference finals between the Spurs and the Lakers on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET): • San Antonio has won 13 straight and 16 of its past 17 playoff games at home. The Spurs have won 15 of their past 21 playoff games overall. • The Lakers have lost 8 of their past 11 postseason road games. • When winning both Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series, the Lakers are 36-1 all time in any round. • Overall, as the conference No. 1 seed, the Lakers are 155-72 all time in the playoffs. The Lakers are 44-47 in Game 4 of a best-of-seven series all time in any round.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- With all due respect to Kendrick Perkins, you know it's not going to be a good night for the Boston Celtics when he is their biggest offensive threat. The Celtics' success has been heavily credited to their All-Star trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But the big three were minimized during Boston's 94-75 loss to the Detroit Pistons in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Monday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills as they were surprisingly limited to 41 points and 5 assists. "They didn't play great," Celtics coach Doc Rivers simply said. Garnett, Pierce and Allen entered Game 4 averaging a combined 53 points during 17 playoff contests. The Celtics' big three, however, were limited to a combined 11-of-38 shooting from the field. "It's always disappointing," Allen said of the trio's play. "I think we pride ourselves on making our teammates better and allowing them to make us better. There's a point where you just have to make the simple play. Just too frequently throughout the game, we put ourselves in situations where I think we had some good shots, but I think we could have got better shots." The biggest surprise of the night was Garnett's struggling offensive performance. The 11-time NBA All-Star torched the league's best defense during the regular season by averaging a team-best 24 points in this series entering Game 4. The all-NBA first-team selection also averaged 24 points in three regular-season games against Detroit. But in Game 4, Garnett made just 6-of-16 shots while nailing his four free-throw attempts to score 16 points in 38 minutes.
"Kevin had shots that he normally makes and didn't make them," Rivers said. "I just thought he didn't have shots when we wanted to get him the ball."The Celtics cut their deficit to five points on five occasions in the fourth quarter, but couldn't find away to get over that hump. Boston needed one of its All-Stars to make big plays to get the victory in a winnable game, but no one stepped up. If only Perkins (10 points on 4-of-6 shooting) didn't foul out with 3:23 left in this crucial playoff game that Garnett, Pierce and Allen surely won't forget if they fall short of making the NBA Finals. Marc J. Spears is a regular contributor to ESPN.com and covers the NBA and the Boston Celtics for The Boston Globe
Celtics guard Ray Allen feels the pain of a tough Game 4 as Boston heads to defeat in Detroit.
Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant are chasing Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time playoff scoring chart. Duncan is likely to pass Chamberlain in the next two games. Bryant could pass Wilt if the Lakers make it to the NBA Finals. Of note: Michael Jordan was the fastest to 3,500 playoff points, doing it in 103 games.
All-Time Playoff Scoring Leaders
The Celtics made only 21 field goals in their Game 4 loss to the Pistons. In the shot-clock era, only one team has converted fewer field goals in a conference finals or NBA Finals game: Portland was 19-for-77 from the field in an 85-63 loss to San Antonio in the 1999 Western Conference finals.