After a strong and combative showing in Game 1 on Sunday, school was in session for the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.
The No. 1 seeded Cleveland Cavaliers tied an NBA postseason record by connecting on 20-38 3-pointers en route to a 107-90 Game 2 victory over the Pistons to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven first round series.
Seemingly answering the bell after Stanley Johnson and Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy both made comments challenging him during and after Game 1, Cavaliers forward LeBron James sprung to life in the second quarter on Wednesday, scoring 14 of his 26 points in the period while frequently battling and succeeding against the 19-year-old Johnson.
Still, despite James’ second quarter run, the Pistons had an answer. After leading by nine in the first, Detroit battled back from a 20-6 run to pull within two at half then opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run of their own.
Cleveland soon turned the tables, applying pressure and seizing control during an extended sequence that was capped by a LeBron James fadeaway and pull-up 3-pointer, pushing the Cavs ahead 76-64. By the time the third quarter came to an end, Detroit had been outscored 27-15 and trailed by 14 heading into the fourth.
Following a lights out performance from deep in Game 1, the Pistons couldn’t repeat the magic for Game 2, connecting on just 4-of-17 3-pointers while shooting only 43.6 percent from the field for the game.
Detroit’s shooting woes carried over the free throw line as well, largely thanks to Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue’s decision to have his team repeatedly foul Andre Drummond throughout the evening. Drummond led the Pistons with 20 points but connected on just 4-of-16 attempts from the line.
The No. 8 seeded Pistons now head back to Detroit, where they’ll try to dig themselves out of an 0-2 hole on Friday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). Game 3 will be the first time The Palace has hosted a playoff contest since 2009, when the Cavaliers wrapped up a series sweep against the Pistons with a 99-78 win Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Additional Notes & Observations
- Pistons frontcourt problems: Starting forwards Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris combined to shoot 5-of-21 from the floor. In addition to committing two early fouls, Morris also suffered a second half nosebleed that briefly forced him to the locker room. After a 4-of-11 showing in Game 1, Harris is now shooting 7-of-22 for the series.
- Rough night for Steve Blake. 10 minutes, -20 plus/minus, a couple of rough turnovers and an airball.
- Stanley Johnson: Nine points (4-7), two rebounds, two turnovers, -20.