Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/28

Game 1: Friday, November 28th
Cavaliers88Final
Pistons92
Game 2: Thursday, December 11th
Pistons86Final
Cavaliers95
Game 3: Tuesday, February 3rd
Cavaliers85Final
Pistons82
Game 4: Sunday, March 21st
Pistons96Final
Cavaliers76

Cavaliers 85

(19-29, 6-20 away)

Pistons 82

(33-17, 19-7 home)

    Coverage: FSOH

    7:30 PM ET, February 3, 2004

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 32 18 17 1885
    DET 20 24 27 1182

    Top Performers

    Cle: C. Boozer 21 Pts, 15 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Det: C. Billups 19 Pts, 1 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Blk

    Boozer picks up slack with double-double

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- A Cleveland Cavaliers player put together an impressive performance on the day he was not chosen to play in the All-Star game.

    It wasn't LeBron James.

    Carlos Boozer helped make up for James' poor shooting performance with 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers to an 85-82 win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

    "Absolutely Carlos Boozer should've been picked," Cleveland coach Paul Silas said. "He's an elite power forward in the Eastern Conference."

    Hours after finding out he was passed over for the All-Star game, James was 5-of-19 for 12 points. The sensational rookie, coming off a career-high 38-point game, was not among the seven Eastern Conference reserves announced Tuesday.

    "I know I can help the team without scoring," said James, who also had six assists, only one turnover, and four rebounds.

    Boozer made two free throws with 8.9 seconds left, after grabbing an offensive rebound off one of James' many missed shots, to give Cleveland the lead for good.

    "Sure, I wanted to be an All-Star, but I'm more excited about the roll we're on as a team," Boozer said.

    During the past eight games, Boozer is averaging 22.2 and 14.4 rebounds.

    James shrugged off being snubbed from the All-Star game, but said Boozer definitely should've been picked.

    "He's the best forward in the conference and one of the best in the league," James said. "All I know is that I want him as my power forward until I retire."

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 15 points, and Jeff McInnis added 11 for the Cavaliers, who have won seven of nine.

    Chauncey Billups, who missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer, had 19 points for the Pistons.

    "We had it in our hands and just dropped it," Billups said.

    Detroit's Richard Hamilton had 18 points, Tayshaun Prince added 13 and Ben Wallace had 17 rebounds, five blocks and five points.

    The Pistons had won four straight by a total of eight points, and five straight at home against Cleveland.

    Detroit fought back from a 15-point, first-quarter deficit to take the lead in the third quarter.

    However, they missed 13 straight shots and their four-point lead turned into a 77-71 deficit midway through the fourth quarter.

    Hamilton drove past James for a layup to put the Pistons ahead 80-79 with 2:49 left.

    Cleveland went back ahead with 1:37 remaining when Elden Campbell was called for goaltending on Boozer's layup.

    "I thought Elden made a great block," Billups said. "That was a huge play."

    Hamilton's runner tied the game at 82 with 31.5 seconds left.

    With a chance to tie the game, Billups missed a mid-range jumper with a few seconds left. DeSagana Diop missed one of two free throws with 2.2 seconds left, leaving the Pistons with a chance to force overtime, but Billups missed a 3-pointer over McInnis.

    The Pistons missed center Mehmet Okur, who did not play because of back spasms. Okur was replaced in the starting lineup by Campbell, who scored 10 points.

    The Cavaliers finished the first quarter with a 32-20 lead -- the largest deficit Detroit has had after the first this season.

    "We had a terrible first quarter, but our bench brought us back," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "Then at the end, we couldn't secure rebounds."

    Game notes


    Cleveland activated rookie guard Jason Kapono before the game, and placed forward Tony Battie on the injured list with a bruised left knee. ... Ivan Rodriguez, the newest Detroit Tiger, was given a rousing, standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd during a first-quarter timeout.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    CLE
    DET
    Points 85 82
    FGM-FGA 35-84 (.417) 33-86 (.384)
    3PM-3PA 1-4 (.250) 3-9 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 14-20 (.700) 13-23 (.565)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-45 15-49
    Assists 21 17
    Turnovers 9 14
    Steals 7 3
    Blocks 7 9
    Fast Break Points 9 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 18 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Cleveland
    Detroit
    Carlos Boozer Boozer
    Points: 21
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 19
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1