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Old 05-15-2006, 11:43 PM   #88
Joe G
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PISTONS CAVS 2-2.......after one of the UGLIEST games in NBA playoff history!!

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers opted to let their defense do the talking. {HMMMM AND A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FRIENDS}

With LeBron James enduring a rough second half, Anderson Varejao and the Cavaliers locked down defensively, smothering the Detroit Pistons in a critical 74-72 victory to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.

James scored just seven of his 22 points in the second half, finishing 8-of-23 from the field and 5-of-10 from the line with a game-high eight turnovers.
{ARE THE BASKETS IN CLEVELAND REGULATION SIZED?? THEY LOOKED LIKE ONES THE CARNIVALS USE WHICH ARE ABOUT 1/4 INCH EITHER SIDE BIGGER THAN THE BALL}

But Cleveland, which was playing its second straight game without third-leading scorer Larry Hughes - who is mourning the death of his brother - had six other players score between six and 12 points and, most importantly, turned up the defense when it mattered most.

After allowing the Pistons to average 105.0 points in dropping the first two games of the series, the Cavaliers have held the best team in the East to 75.5 points in winning the last two contests.

Detroit shot only 33 percent (25-of-75) in this one, including an abysmal 4-of-18 in the fourth quarter. The Pistons shot just 4-of-15 from 3-point range and committed 14 turnovers against only 12 assists. {HMMMM CAN'T THROW IT IN THE OCEAN ALL OF A SUUDEN?}

The fourth-seeded Cavaliers held Detroit to just two points in the final 2:50 with the help of two key defensive plays from Varejao in the final 30 seconds.

With Cleveland holding a 73-72 lead with 29.6 seconds left, the Brazilian forward stepped in and took a charge on Chauncey Billups. After James missed a jumper on the other end, Varejao altered Richard Hamilton's runner in the lane with about 10 seconds left. {AND BLOCKING WASN'T CALLED, THOUGH HE UMM 'SLID' IN TO THE LANE!! AND TRAPPING A SHOT AFTER IT HITS THE BACKBOARD USED !! TO BE CALLED GOALTENDING}}

Eric Snow scored 12 points and Varejao added 10 and six rebounds for the Cavaliers, who received a little extra motivation to win the contest Sunday when Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace guaranteed a victory. However, Wallace was unable to back it up as he battled a sprained ankle to score only seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.
{MEMO TO RASHEED..DON'T WRITE A CHECK W/ YOUR MOUTH THAT YOUR BODY CAN'T CASH!!}}

Hamilton led Detroit with 30 points on 11-of-25 shooting. Tayshaun Prince contributed 16 points and Billups added 13 but shot just 3-of-10 from the field. The Pistons, who received only seven points from their bench, will host Game Five on Wednesday.
{HMM CHAUNCEY 'MR. BIG SHOT' BILLUPS LOOKED AFRAID TO SHOOT AT CRUNCH TIME, BIZARRE..MUST BE THE CLEVELAND WATER}}

The teams jockeyed back and forth for most of the first half with neither team leading by more than five points. The Pistons shot only 34 percent (14-of-41) but entered intermission with a 38-36 lead behind 15 points from Hamilton. James scored 15 points to lead the Cavaliers, capping the opening 24 minutes with a difficult stepback 3-pointer as the second-quarter buzzer sounded.
{AND EVEN BETTER, HE WAS OUT OF BOUNDS WHEN HE SHOT IT! MAYBE DAVID STERN SHOULD GIVE HIM 4PTS FOR THAT ONE!}

However, that would be James' last basket until he converted a challenging lefthanded drive to the basket that gave Cleveland a 72-70 lead with 2:18 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Hamilton answered with a pair of free throws to tie it before James split two foul shots with 1:02 to play. James capped the scoring with a free throw with 1.3 seconds left and, without a timeout left, the Pistons were unable to get a shot off on their final chance. {THAT LOOKED LIKE A RUGBY SCRUM!! BUT MEMO TO FLIP SAUNDERS..IF YOU GAMBLE ON LETTING THE REFS DECIDE A GAME....YOU MAY LOSE ESP. ON THE ROAD...YES, THE PISTONS WERE MUGGED ON THAT PLAY...BUT THE ZEBRAS AREN'T GONNA CALL A FOUL THAT LATE..IT WAS A DUMB STRATEGY}
BUT, DO NOT DESPAIR...THE PISTONS NEVER SEEM TO DO ANYTHING THE EASY WAY....BUT THEY WILL WIN THIS SERIES.....IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE PLAYING THIS BADLY AGAIN...
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