Detroit 91, Miami 78 (Heat lead series, 3-2)
They are called “free throws” for a reason. There you stand, fifteen feet from the basket, and you get to take an uncontested shot that’s worth one point. It’s not that complicated. The Heat lost this game because they went 6-20 (30%) from the charity stripe. And it wasn’t just Shaquille O’Neal (1-5) throwing up bricks. Dwayne Wade, Udonis Haslem and Gary Payton, who all shoot over 78% from the line, went a combined 1-8 from the line. Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons with 29 points, while Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton chipped in with 17 and 16, respectively. Wade led the Heat with 23 points while Shaquille O’Neal added 19 despite only playing 31 minutes due to foul trouble in the first half. This was the Pistons’ third elimination game in these playoffs and they must win two more to get to the Finals. Game 6 becomes a game that Miami needs to win, because they don’t want to go back to Detroit with the series on the line. With pressure on both teams, it should be a good one.
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