Gibson, not LeBron, leads Cavs past Pistons and into finals
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Rookie Daniel Gibson stepped up again,
scoring 19 of his career-high 31 points in the final quarter, as LeBron James
and the Cleveland Cavaliers made it to the NBA Finals for the first time in
franchise history with a 98-82 win over Detroit.
James, who had a playoff career-high 48 points in a double-overtime win on
Thursday, had 20 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists in the clinching Game 6
win of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Cavaliers, on their maiden voyage to the title series, will face a team
that has never lost in the NBA Finals in three tries – the Spurs. The series
starts Thursday night in San Antonio.
Gibson, who had 21 points in a Game 4 victory on Tuesday, finished 7-of-9 from
the field, and made all five of his three-point tries. Four of those came in
the fourth quarter. He also went 12-of-15 at the foul line, as he and James
combined to go 26-of-35 at the charity stripe.
Gibson nailed three long-distance shots in the first 2:17 of the fourth, as
the Cavaliers widened a one-point lead from the end of three periods to 79-67
with 9:43 remaining.
Cleveland became just the third team all-time to rally from a 2-0 series
deficit in the conference finals to capture the seven-game series.
Richard Hamilton had 29 points for the Pistons, who lost a series for the
first time in franchise history (1-18) when winning the first two games. Chris
Webber scored 13 for Detroit.
Rasheed Wallace had 11 points in a losing cause, and was ejected with 7:44
remaining after receiving a pair of technical fouls. He was called for a fifth
personal foul for grabbing James in the lane and was then called for a
technical for complaining about a previous offensive foul on the possession
before that when he bowled over Anderson Varejao. Wallace then had to be
restrained from going after official Eddie Rush.
Wallace reached the seven technical foul limit in the postseason, meaning he
would have been automatically suspended even if there was a Game 7.
In an odd set of circumstances, the game was delayed 21 minutes between the
first and second quarters by a clock malfunction. The public address announcer
was forced to count down the 24 second shot clock, signaling when there was 10
seconds left, and then counting down from five to one. The shot clocks were
working by the third quarter.