Same score. Same outcome. Same struggles. Same disappointment. Same ending. Different day.
Talk about deja vu. Rasheed Wallace hit a big shot to take the lead for good in the final 24 seconds of the game to boost the Pistons up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals. After being criticized for passing up the shot in the dying seconds of Game 1, LeBron James finally took it upon himself to take the ball strong to the hole and take the shot himself; and missed. Larry Hughes corralled the offensive rebound and missed a wide-open 10-footer (I wasn't surprised), and another opportunity came along for the Cavs as Varejao grabbed another offensive rebound but missed the ensuing tip-in. Mike Brown was called for a technical foul contesting that Rasheed Wallace fouled Varejao which gave the Pistons three free-throws for the cushion. Rip Hamilton missed the last free throw and Varejao grabbed the defensive rebound and threw a prayer to tie the game; unfortunately, the prayer was not answered (does the last sequence involving Varejao sound familiar? Game 1 ended exactly the same way).
Final Score: Detroit Pistons 79 Cleveland Cavaliers 76 -- The exact same score from Game 1.
Another hard-to-swallow game for the Cavs. They had all the opportunities in the world to take this game right from under the Pistons' nose, but the were not able to capitalize on it:
- A 12-point lead after halftime, but scored 26 points the rest of the way. Not only does Detroit play hard perimeter defense, the Cavs are offensively challenged.
- Tayshaun Prince had another great night of hounding LeBron James, although shooting 0/8 FGs. He now has a total of 1/19 FGs for the series. I think the Pistons can live with that considering they are up 2-0.
- The Cavs had three great shots to win the game in the final seconds, but missed all of them. I'll just call them unlucky.
- Chauncey "Mr. Big Shot" Billups refused to take "small shots" for the second game in a row and only attempted 7 shots.
- Larry Hughes was horrible once again.
- Maybe the people criticizing that James should have kicked the ball out this time?