Cavs, James hold off Pistons' late rally

The Associated PressApril 22, 2009 

The Detroit Pistons couldn't contain LeBron James again. And this time, they didn't stop his teammates until it was too late.

James, showing no regard for a defensive plan Detroit spent three days preparing for him, scored 29 points and Mo Williams added 21 as the host Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a stirring comeback for a 94-82 win on Tuesday night to open a 2-0 lead over the Pistons in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Delonte West scored 20 and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 12 for the top-seeded Cavs, who built a 29-point lead in the fourth but saw the Pistons close to seven in the closing minutes before Cleveland finally put Detroit away.

Game 3 is Friday night at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.

NOTES

MUTOMBO INJURED: Houston Rockets reserve center Dikembe Mutombo injured his left leg in Tuesday night's playoff game against the host Portland Trail Blazers and left the court on a stretcher. He appeared to get tangled with Portland center Greg Oden. The nature of the injury was not available, and the game had not ended by press time for this edition.

HOWARD WINS DEFENSIVE HONOR: Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, 23, is the NBA's defensive player of the year after becoming only the fifth player to lead the league in blocks and rebounds in the same season.

Howard, 23, is the youngest player to win the award. He averaged 13.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game this season, his fifth in the league.

CELTICS LOSE POWE: Boston Celtics forward Leon Powe will miss the rest of the playoffs with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and torn meniscus in his left knee, coach Doc Rivers said.

SPANISH GUARD OPTS FOR NBA: Spanish teenager Ricky Rubio, who turns 19 in October, has decided to enter the June 25 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-2 point guard, who was under contract with Spanish club DKV Joventut through 2011, has been rated one of the top picks.

LATE MONDAY

SPURS 105, MAVERICKS 84: Speedy guard Tony Parker had 38 points and eight assists to help host San Antonio beat Dallas in Game 2 of their series. Parker had 27 points in the first half. Jason Terry finished with 16 points for Dallas, which suffered one of the worst losses in the playoff rivalry. Game 3 is Thursday in Dallas.

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