Pistons 113, Cavaliers 86


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons had LeBron James seeing triple – as in 3-pointers and three defenders.

The Pistons made 10 shots from beyond the arc in the first half -one shy of an NBA playoff record – to open up a 21-point lead at halftime before cruising to a 113-86 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday in Game 1 of their second-round series.

James scored all of his 22 points in the first half, but had to work for each one. Triple-teamed at times, James was forced to take tough shots or defer to teammates who didn’t respond by making shots of their own.

The 21-year-old star didn’t play in the fourth quarter after he was held scoreless in the third and the Pistons led 94-64.

Tayshaun Prince made James work on defense, too, scoring 16 of his 24 points in the first half.

The two-time defending Eastern Conference champions turned the game into a rout with a franchise playoff-record 43 points in the second quarter against a team in the second round for the first time since 1993.

Detroit also set its postseason record with 15 3-pointers, on 22 attempts.

The Pistons had four double-figure scorers in the first half alone, including reserves Antonio McDyess and Lindsey Hunter. Both had 12 at halftime – outscoring every Cavs player not named James.

Richard Hamilton scored 20, Chauncey Billups had 14 points and 10 assists and Rasheed Wallace added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Ben Wallace, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year according to an Associated Press source, had 11 rebounds and four blocks for the Pistons.

Cleveland’s Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points after a poor series against Washington in the first round. The Cavs, who didn’t have a third double-digit scorer until the fourth quarter, got 11 points from Anderson Varejao.

The Cavs played about 40 hours after their Game 6 win at Washington in overtime, flying home and then to suburban Detroit. Meanwhile, the Pistons had a day off and two days of practices after eliminating Milwaukee in five games.

The Cavs began the game with some fight, leading 12-7 and being tied late in the first quarter. Detroit went on a 10-0 run over the last 1:57 of the first half – helped by James’ two turnovers – to take a 26-16 lead.

Cleveland was still hanging around, by NBA standards, trailing by 14 until the Pistons closed another quarter in dominating fashion. Hunter made three 3-pointers in just under a minute and McDyess closed the 11-4 run to put the Pistons ahead 69-48 at halftime.

The Pistons went up 32 in the third quarter and took out their starters midway through the fourth.

Notes: Ben Wallace won the defensive award for the fourth time in five years, a person within the Pistons organization told the AP before the game started. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the award has not been announced, said Wallace will be presented with the award Tuesday night. … James played his first second-round game in the same place he made his pro debut on October, 7, 2003, in an exhibition game against the Pistons. … Detroit’s previous playoff record was 12 3-pointers, a total reached twice in 2002 against Boston. … Four teams have made 11 3-pointers in one half of a playoff game. … James finished second to Phoenix’s Steve Nash in the MVP voting and Billups was fifth. … Kid Rock sat courtside, sporting a black Pistons jersey, shorts and white socks pulled up to his knees.

AP-ES-05-07-06 1815EDT