Billups boosts Pistons over Cavs in Game 1
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups’ three-pointer with 1:52
left put Detroit ahead and Cleveland came up empty on a pair of chances inside
the final 20 seconds, as the Pistons beat the Cavaliers, 79-76, in the opener
of the Eastern Conference finals at the Palace.
Richard Hamilton ended with a game-high 24 points and dished out seven assists
for the Pistons, who are appearing in the conference finals for a fifth
straight year. Billups scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter for
Detroit, which will seek to take a two-game lead in this best-of-seven set on
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 22 points and 13 rebounds, but his missed a potential
go-ahead jumper with 15 seconds left for Cleveland, which failed to score a
single point over the final 2:08 of the game.
LeBron James ended with just 10 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the
Cavs, who are in the conference finals for the first time since 1992. James
shot just 5-of-15 from the field and with a chance to tie the game with under
10 seconds left, he kicked a pass out to Donyell Marshall, who missed a wide-
Billups made one free throw with 2.4 seconds left and Anderson Varejao missed
a desperation shot well beyond half court as time expired.