Rasheed Wallace scored 10 of his 16 points in the final quarter and made a go-ahead jump shot over Cleveland's LeBron James with 24 seconds left to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 79-76 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday.
Detroit now has a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Game 3 is tomorrow night in Cleveland.
James rolled his eyes, slumped his shoulders and looked toward his coaches and teammates.
It was another frustrating night for the Cleveland Cavaliers and their star, who tried to attack the Detroit Pistons differently but came away with the same result.
"Down the stretch, he wanted the ball in a lot of situations," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "He made some big plays in the fourth quarter."
James, who passed up a shot in the final seconds of the series opener, took and missed a spinning shot in the lane with Richard Hamilton draped all over him on the possession after Wallace's shot.
"I believe there was some contact, but there's been a lot of contact throughout this series," James said. "We're a no-excuse team and we can't look at the last play as why we lost. We just have to get better."
Larry Hughes grabbed the offensive rebound of James' miss but couldn't make a 3.3m shot and Anderson Varejao was just off on a tip that would have given Cleveland the lead.
After Wallace grabbed the rebound, Cavs coach Mike Brown was called for a technical foul after arguing that James was fouled on his shot attempt.
Detroit started 2-0 against the Cavs in the second round last year, but the Cavs responded by winning three straight before losing Game 7 on the road.
James finished with 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting and had seven assists, six turnovers and six rebounds. He scored a playoff-low 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting in Game 1.
For the second straight game, he didn't have much help offensively. Sasha Pavlovic and Varejao each scored 14 points, but key players Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Larry Hughes combined for just 11 points. Rookie Daniel Gibson added a playoff-high nine points.
Hamilton and Chauncey Billups had 13 points apiece for the Pistons and Jason Maxiell provided a boost off the bench with a playoff-high 15.
The Cavs led 50-38 after a dominant second quarter before a lackluster third allowed Detroit to come back.
Cleveland, following a trend of playing poorly right after halftime, had just seven points in the third until making two 3-pointers in the final 39 seconds to take a 63-60 lead into the fourth.
The Pistons seemed to take control with a 14-4 run in the fourth quarter that gave them a 74-69 lead, but Cleveland scored six straight to go back ahead in another gritty, close game.
The Pistons expected James to be much more aggressive on Thursday night -- and he was.
James went right at the basket the first time Cleveland had the ball and made a layup. A couple of possessions later, he was fouled as he drove into the lane and went to the line after not attempting one free throw on Monday night.
Wallace went to the bench with two fouls just 3:30 into the game, Antonio McDyess left the game with a cut on his mouth and Maxiell made the most of the opportunity to play. In exactly one minute, he blocked James' shot, dunked off an offensive rebound and had an alley-oop slam.
Maxiell finished the quarter with seven points, four rebounds and two blocks to help Detroit take a 20-16 lead.