The Cleveland Cavaliers built a 29-point fourth-quarter lead, then held off the Detroit Pistons 94-82 to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series on Tuesday.
LeBron James led Cleveland with 29 points and 13 rebounds.
"We played great basketball for three quarters," James told reporters. "(In the) fourth quarter we got a little content and we can not do that in the playoffs. We cannot allow ourselves to not close games out."
The Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers also recorded victories.
The Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 119-109 to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference series. Kobe Bryant had 26 points and Pau Gasol 22 for Los Angeles. Deron Williams scored 35 for Utah, which hosts Game 3 today.
Portland edged the Houston Rockets 107-103 as Brandon Ray scored 42 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 rebounds. Aaron Brooks led Houston with 23 points and Von Wafer added 21. Yao Ming was held to 11.
The Trail Blazers' win leveled the Western Conference series at 1-1 before it moves to Houston tomorrow.
Cleveland led 79-50 after the opening seconds of the fourth quarter before a 27-5 run brought the Pistons within seven points with 3:51 to play.
James then slotted two free throws to launch an 8-0 streak to secure the victory.
Despite the way the Cavaliers finished, James said he was disappointed with the team's fourth quarter.
"We did not play (with) the aggression we have been playing with," he said. "I was very disappointed with our team."
Mo Williams scored 21 points and Delonte West added 20 for Cleveland, which travels to Detroit for Game 3 tomorrow.
Detroit's scoring was more balanced. Richard Hamilton led with 17, Rodney Stuckey added 14 and Will Bynum had 13.
James did not play the first 4:45 of the fourth quarter, but the Cavaliers needed him to close out the Pistons as Bynum scored 11 points and made three assists in the first five minutes.
"Our mindset is still positive," Hamilton said. "They did what they were supposed to do. This isn't anything new, we know what it takes to win."
In Portland, Oregon, Brandon Roy scored 42 points as the Trail Blazers beat the Houston Rockets 107-103 to even their playoff series at one game apiece.
Aaron Brooks led a late charge and finished with 23 points for Houston, which has not made it out of the first round since 1997. Von Wafer came off the bench to add 21.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 rebounds for Trail Blazers, who had never dropped the first two games of a playoff series at home and played one of their most physical games of the season. Greg Oden's dunk pulled the Blazers into an 89-all tie with 4:45 left, before Steve Blake's finger roll put them ahead.
(Agencies via Shanghai Daily April 23, 2009)