|McDyess missed after ejection|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 31 May 2007 18:16|
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -The Detroit Pistons needed Antonio McDyess on Thursday night.
Unfortunately for them, the 11-year veteran was stuck in front of a television set, watching his teammates lose 109-107 in double overtime to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Cavaliers have a 3-2 lead in the series, and can advance to the NBA finals with a victory at home on Saturday.
The 6-foot-9 McDyess was ejected late in the first quarter after he clotheslined Anderson Varejao as he drove to the basket. And with Chris Webber in foul trouble all game, the Pistons were forced to go to Jason Maxiell and Dale Davis to try to find a post presence.
Maxiell gave the Pistons his usual dose of high energy, but the second-year forward had nine points and five rebounds in 28 minutes, and didn't score after halftime.
He also struggled defensively, getting beaten cleanly by LeBron James for a dunk that gave Cleveland a one-point lead with 31 seconds left in regulation.
Pistons coach Flip Saunders tried Davis inside in the second and third quarters, but the 15-year veteran didn't provide much help. Davis didn't score in his eight minutes, and had as many fouls (two) as rebounds.
Detroit's lack of interior defense was painfully obvious again on two more dunks by James that came with Webber back in the game. The first forced overtime and the second tied the game at 95 during the first extra period.
James got to the rim at will down the stretch, and finished the Pistons by beating Maxiell on the game-winning layup with 2.2 seconds left in the second overtime.
Maxiell also made a rookie mistake during the McDyess-Varejao incident. Just after McDyess' hard foul in the lane - which could result in a suspension for Game 6 - James charged at him, but was intercepted by Maxiell.
James was called for a technical foul on the play, but might have been ejected had he gotten to McDyess and delivered a blow. Instead, he finished with 48 points and moved the Cavaliers within a win of their first finals appearance.