Wednesday , May , 17 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pistons host Cavs for Game 5 of East semis

(Sports Network) – The Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers battle in the
crucial Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series tonight at The
Palace of Auburn Hills.

This series is tied at two games apiece. Game 6 of this best-of-seven set is
scheduled for Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.

On Monday, LeBron James overcame a poor shooting performance to lead the
fourth-seeded Cavaliers to a hard-fought 74-72 win over the top-seeded Pistons
in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal set at Quicken Loans Arena.

James was just 8-for-23 from the floor and 5-of-10 from the line, as he ended
with 22 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for the Cavaliers, who
improved to 4-1 at home in the postseason.

Veteran point guard Eric Snow finished with 12 points for Cleveland, while
Anderson Varejao netted 10 in the victory.

Richard Hamilton poured in a game-high 30 points in the loss for the Pistons,
while Tayshaun Prince scored 16 and Chauncey Billups contributed 11 points and
seven assists in defeat.

Detroit, which won Games 1 and 2 of this series at The Palace and are 5-0 at
home in this year’s playoffs, has won five of its last seven Game 5s in the
postseason, while the Cavaliers have won two straight Game 5s.

Cleveland has never comeback from a 2-0 deficit to win a playoff series, while
the Pistons have never lost a set after winning Games 1 and 2.

The Pistons, who are in the playoffs for the fifth straight season,
captured the Central Division and home-court advantage throughout the
playoffs because of their franchise-best 64 victories during the regular
season.

Detroit has reached at least the conference semifinals for a fifth straight
year. It was eliminated in five games by Boston in the 2002 semis, lost in
four to New Jersey in the 2003 conference finals, defeated the Lakers in five
to capture the NBA title in 2004 and fell in seven games to San Antonio in
last year’s championship round.

Cleveland won its first playoff series since 1993 in the first round, as it
knocked off Gilbert Arenas and the fifth-seeded Washington Wizards in six
tough contests. In 1993, the Cavaliers defeated the New Jersey Nets in five
games, 3-2, in the first round. They would go on to be swept in four games by
Chicago in the conference semifinals.

The Cavaliers are 2-1 all-time in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The
Cavs defeated Washington in seven games in 1976 and beat Boston in seven in
1992. They were ousted by the Bulls in 1993.

This is the first time that these teams have met in the postseason.

CLE DET