Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said that referees avoid calling offensive fouls on Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James during his team’s 106-101 loss on Sunday.
“To echo what Kevin said, just being really, really ultra-aggressive”, Irving said. All three made crucial plays in important moments after the Pistons seemed poised to pull a stunning upset to start the series.
“I don’t feel any pressure”, Van Gundy said. “Kevin set the tone early posting up, getting into the paint and getting a couple of fouls”.
But it wasn’t easy. Kyrie Irving had 31 points, five rebounds and six assists to lead the Cavaliers.
The Pistons picked up 21 personal fouls, which led to 20 free throws for the Cavs.
This is how Van Gundy replied: “I mean, you’re going to have to win here”.
However, Van Gundy offered a different view on the officiating after the game, saying: “Look, I thought it evened out really well”. Reality of a series, when you’re the underdog, is that you just can’t win at home and get out of the series. But James says the remarks are a non-issue and the coach is trying to gain an advantage for the eighth-seeded Pistons. They’re unlikely to make 15 three-pointers and shoot 50% from that distance throughout the series. They are favored to win the Eastern Conference again but got all they could handle from the fearless Pistons.
LeBron James vs. all of the Stans in the world.
Johnson said he was surprised by James’ rough treatment. “But as far as the stats, those things will take care of themselves”. Kyrie Irving scored the first 8 points for the Cavs in the 3rd quarter.
The officiating was very lopsided in the first half.
The Pistons shot 62% from the field and 10-for-16 from three-point range in the first half. But it was physical basketball, so on the other end when I get an opportunity to throw him on the ground, it is what it is. “I wish they could see me get slapped on the arm”. As long as it’s a great shot, I know my teammates feel good about it. The Spurs sat their starters in the fourth quarter to rest them for Game 2 on Tuesday night in San Antonio.
LeBron is 17-22 lifetime against SVG-coached teams, including a 2-4 record in the Eastern Conference finals in 2009.
Memphis’ previous largest losing margin was 27 points against Oklahoma City on May 11, 2011. Already down a game in the series against a first-seeded, LeBron James-led team, it couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time.
Reggie Jackson (17 points, seven assists) tied the game at 88 with a three-pointer with 6:28 remaining.