Detroit wins series 4-3 (Game 2 of 7)

Detroit wins series 4-3

Game 1: Sunday, May 7th
Game 2: Tuesday, May 9th
Game 3: Saturday, May 13th
Game 4: Monday, May 15th
Game 5: Wednesday, May 17th
Game 6: Friday, May 19th
Game 7: Sunday, May 21st

Cavaliers 91

(50-32, 19-22 away)

Pistons 97

(64-18, 37-4 home)

7:00 PM ET, May 9, 2006

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 16 20 24 3191
DET 23 29 26 1997

Top Performers

Cle: L. James 30 Pts, 14 Reb, 7 Ast

Det: R. Wallace 29 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

James drops 30, but Pistons cruise to 2-0 series lead

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- LeBron James almost made the Detroit Pistons regret getting bored.

Pistons' offense in playoffs, last three years
Category Under Larry Brown Under Flip Saunders
Games 48 7
PPG 88.8 106.6
FG PCT. 42.5 48.0
3-point PCT. 31.5 46.1
3-point made/game 4.4 10.0
3-point attempts/game 13.9 21.7
100-point games 4 6

James scored 23 of his 30 points in the second half, but Rasheed Wallace had 29 points and Tayshaun Prince added 20 to lead Detroit to a 97-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night -- and a 2-0 lead in their second-round series.

"We had the game going through three quarters, and we got a little lax," Detroit's Chauncey Billups said. "We came away from our defensive scheme, and LeBron started to hurt us."

James didn't reach double figures until midway through the third quarter, then he led a fourth-quarter rally with jumpers and driving layups through a sea of Pistons.

Cleveland pulled to 87-78 after a 10-2 run before Ben Wallace made a fadeaway shot off his own miss and Rasheed Wallace followed with a 3-pointer, forcing the Cavs to call a timeout down by 14 points with 4:31 left.

James wouldn't let the Cavs go away.

His three-point play made it 92-87 with 1:13 left, but Richard Hamilton scored a three-point play on the ensuing possession and both players traded free throws in the final seconds.

"We kept our composure and gave them a run for their money," James said.

For three-plus quarters, it didn't look like there was much James or the Cavs, who advanced in the playoffs for the first time since 1993, could do against the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions at either end of the court.

After leading by just two points, Detroit took control of Game 2 -- and perhaps the best-of-seven series -- with a 13-0 run late in the first quarter and early in the second. The burst grew to 19-3 and the Pistons led by 18 before the Cavs ended a field-goal drought that lasted more than seven minutes.

"Our guys have the ability to lock down," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "As a coach, you hate the term 'Flip the switch,' but there's no question they have the ability to do that."

The Pistons were coasting until the Cavs suddenly showed signs of life midway through the fourth quarter.

The Cavs -- who lost Sunday by 27 points in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated -- will have plenty of time to search for a solution to turn the series around because Game 3 isn't until Saturday in Cleveland.

Cavs coach Mike Brown was so desperate late in the first half Tuesday that he resorted to a hack-a-Ben strategy, having his players intentionally foul Ben Wallace late in the first half. The tactic backfired, perhaps because Brown might've sent his players a message that they couldn't slow the Pistons down any other way.

When Brown instructed his players to foul Wallace, Detroit was ahead by 16. After Wallace went 2-of-4 from the line and Rasheed Wallace made a 3-pointer off the glass, the Cavs were trailing by 21.

"I've seen it before, but not in the first half," Billups said. "I was shocked. We were pretty much like, 'Wow, they showed their trump card.' But when you're a coach, especially a young coach, and you're playing a veteran group like ours, after a tough Game 1, you can get a little desperate.

"He was just trying to help his team out, and it didn't work."

Brown acknowledged that he didn't like telling his player to put Wallace on the line.

"But I didn't want to use all of my timeouts, and I wanted to stop the bleeding," he said.

Hamilton finished with 17 points, Billups had 15 points and seven assists, and Ben Wallace added 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Cleveland's Drew Gooden had 17 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 10 and reserve Anderson Varejao also added 10.

Game notes

Ben Wallace was presented with the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award -- for an unprecedented fourth time in five seasons -- by Boston Celtics great Bill Russell before the game. ... Cavs reserve Donyell Marshall was upset that his comments before Game 1 were interpreted as if he was giving up in the series. "Detroit has the knowledge from winning a championship two years ago, and going to the championship last year. I think their knowledge is going to overtake our youth right now," he said Monday. ... James had six points in the first quarter, one in the second, nine in the third and 14 in the final quarter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 91 97
FGM-FGA 35-79 (.443) 28-68 (.412)
3PM-3PA 6-14 (.429) 10-25 (.400)
FTM-FTA 15-22 (.682) 31-42 (.738)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-51 5-38
Assists 18 20
Turnovers 14 8
Steals 2 8
Blocks 1 2
Fast Break Points 5 10
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (2/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 4 22

Top Performers

LeBron James James
Points: 30
Reb: 14
Ast: 7
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Rasheed Wallace Wallace
Points: 29
Reb: 9
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 2