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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Turn It Up! Renewed Intensity Keys Detroit's Game Two Victory Over Miami

Detroit played with tremendous energy right from the start of Thursday's game against Miami, leading 25-12 after the first quarter on the way to a 92-88 win that squared the Eastern Conference Finals at one game each. Miami shot only 5-20 from the field in the first quarter yet despite all of those misses the Pistons held the Heat to one offensive rebound.

Miami cut the lead to four in the second quarter but trailed by 11 at halftime. Detroit came out firing in the second half and pushed the lead to 18 by the 7:52 mark in the third quarter. Then both teams hit a lull filled with turnovers, fouls and violations. It seemed that Detroit might coast to victory. With 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Pistons led 83-71. Miami refused to go quietly and went on a 17-7 run, including seven free throws. Detroit committed a five second violation--Tayshaun Prince argued with referee Dick Bavetta that he had called a timeout--after which Dwyane Wade nailed a three pointer to cut the lead to two with nine seconds left. Chauncey Billups then hit two free throws and Lindsey Hunter's strip of Wade sealed the win.

Prince led Detroit with 24 points and added 11 rebounds. Billups had all 18 of his points in the second half. Ben Wallace made all four of his shots from the field while contributing 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Wade finished with 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists but also had nine turnovers. Shaquille O'Neal had 21 points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots, four turnovers and no assists.

Which Detroit team will show up in game three in Miami: the one that is not focused, lacks energy and drifts through games or the one that executes with precision, is lively and carries the action right to the opponent?

posted by David Friedman @ 11:17 PM

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