Cavs, Pistons clash in Game 4 of East finals
(Sports Network) – The Cleveland Cavaliers try to knot their Eastern
Conference finals series with the Detroit Pistons at 2-2, as the teams battle
in Game 4 of the set tonight at Quicken Loans Arena.
After losing the first two games of the series at The Palace of Auburn Hills,
the Cavaliers returned home and picked up a much needed win in Game 3. LeBron
James poured in 32 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out nine assists
to lead No. 2 Cleveland to an 88-82 win over the top-seeded Pistons at
Quicken Loans Arena.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 16 points and seven boards for the Cavaliers, while
Sasha Pavlovic scored 13 and Drew Gooden finished with 12 points for
Rasheed Wallace led the Pistons with 16 points, and Chris Webber scored 15
points and pulled down seven rebounds for Detroit. Chauncey Billups and
Tayshaun Prince added 13 points each for the Pistons.
Cleveland guard Larry Hughes (torn plantar fascia in left foot) is doubtful
for tonight’s contest. The 6-5 Hughes suffered the injury in the first quarter
of Game 3. Hughes is averaging 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per
game in the postseason.
Game 5 of this best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday at The Palace of
Detroit, which is 4-2 as the visitor in the postseason, has lost three of its
last four Game 4s in the playoffs, while the Cavaliers have won three straight
Game 4s and are 2-0 all-time in the fourth game of the East finals.
The Pistons are 18-0 when they win the first two games of a playoff series,
while the Cavaliers, who are 5-1 as the host in this year’s postseason, are
0-10 when they drop Games 1 and 2 in a series.
This is the second time that these teams have met in the postseason. Last
year, the Pistons knocked out Cleveland in seven games in the East semis. The
Cavaliers led the series 3-2, but lost Game 6, 84-82, at home and were then
eliminated in Game 7, 79-61, at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pistons have made it to the Eastern Conference finals for the fifth
straight year and 10th time in franchise history. They played Boston
in 1987 and 1988, Chicago in 1989, 1990 and 1991, New Jersey in 2003,
Indiana in 2004 and Miami in 2005 and 2006. Detroit is 5-4 in this round.
Detroit won its fifth Central Division title in the past six seasons during
the 2006-07 campaign. The Pistons, who have reached the postseason for a sixth
straight year, fell in six games against the Heat in last year’s Eastern
Conference finals. The Pistons are the No. 1 seed for the third time
in four years and have owned home-court advantage throughout the East
In round one, the Pistons swept Dwight Howard and No. 8 Orlando, 4-0. The
conference semifinals proved to be a tougher, as the fifth-seeded Bulls
pushed Detroit to six games.
Cleveland has made it to the Eastern Conference finals for the third time in
franchise history, and is 0-2 in this round. The Cavaliers fell in six games
to Boston in 1976 and the Bulls in 1992.
The Cavaliers earned their first sweep in franchise history in the opening
round of this year’s playoffs, as they knocked out No. 7 Washington, 4-0. In
the East semis, Cleveland needed six games to eliminate Jason Kidd and the