James, Gooden Lead Cavaliers To 3-2 Lead Over Reeling Pistons
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – If Cleveland does not have Detroit’s attention by now, the Pistons must not be paying much.
LeBron James scored 32 points and assisted on Drew Gooden’s game-winning shot last night to lead the Cavs to an 86-84 victory over Detroit – Cleveland’s third straight win en route to a 3-2 lead in the second round series.
The Pistons, on the brink of elimination after two straight trips to the NBA Finals, have not been giving much respect to the Cavs, who are in the second round for the first time since 1993.
That should change now, but will it be too late for the cocky Pistons?
Game 6 of the series is Friday night in Cleveland, and if the Pistons force a Game 7, they will be back on their home court Sunday.
Ben Wallace blew a chance to give the Pistons the lead for the first time since early in the second quarter when he missed two free throws with 40 seconds left. That left one of the NBA’s worst free-throw shooters 0-for-7 for the game, which remained tied at 84.
James deferred to Gooden on the ensuing possession,then he came through with a low-post basket to put the Cavs ahead by two with 27 seconds left. After a timeout, Donyell Marshall blocked Tayshaun Prince’s shot in the lane and James tipped a rebound – off Lindsey Hunter’s missed jumper – to teammate Eric Snow, who tossed the ball down the court to kill time.
The Pistons had the ball back with 1.9 seconds left to play, but they could not get a shot off to try to force overtime – or win the game with their first lead since early in the second quarter.