AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - A Cleveland Cavaliers player put together an impressive performance on the day he was not chosen to play in the All-Star game.
It wasn't LeBron James.
Carlos Boozer helped make up for James' poor shooting performance with 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers to an 85-82 win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.
"Absolutely Carlos Boozer should've been picked," Cleveland coach Paul Silas said. "He's an elite power forward in the Eastern Conference."
Hours after finding out he was passed over for the All-Star game, James was 5-of-19 for 12 points. The sensational rookie, coming off a career-high 38-point game, was not among the seven Eastern Conference reserves announced Tuesday.
"I know I can help the team without scoring," said James, who also had six assists, only one turnover, and four rebounds.
Boozer, a graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School, made two free throws with 8.9 seconds left, after grabbing an offensive rebound off one of James' many missed shots, to give Cleveland the lead for good.
"Sure, I wanted to be an All-Star, but I'm more excited about the roll we're on as a team," Boozer said.
During the past eight games, Boozer is averaging 22.2 and 14.4 rebounds.
James shrugged off being snubbed from the All-Star game, but said Boozer definitely should've been picked.
"He's the best forward in the conference and one of the best in the league," James said. "All I know is that I want him as my power forward until I retire."
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 15 points, and Jeff McInnis added 11 for the Cavaliers, who have won seven of nine.
Chauncey Billups, who missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer, had 19 points for the Pistons.
"We had it in our hands and just dropped it," Billups said.
Detroit's Richard Hamilton had 18 points, Tayshaun Prince added 13 and Ben Wallace had 17 rebounds, five blocks and five points.
The Pistons had won four straight by a total of eight points, and five straight at home against Cleveland.
Detroit fought back from a 15-point, first-quarter deficit to take the lead in the third quarter.
However, they missed 13 straight shots and their four-point lead turned into a 77-71 deficit midway through the fourth quarter.
Hamilton drove past James for a layup to put the Pistons ahead 80-79 with 2:49 left.
Cleveland went back ahead with 1:37 remaining when Elden Campbell was called for goaltending on Boozer's layup.
"I thought Elden made a great block," Billups said. "That was a huge play."
Hamilton's runner tied the game at 82 with 31.5 seconds left.
With a chance to tie the game, Billups missed a mid-range jumper with a few seconds left. DeSagana Diop missed one of two free throws with 2.2 seconds left, leaving the Pistons with a chance to force overtime, but Billups missed a 3-pointer over McInnis.
The Pistons missed center Mehmet Okur, who did not play because of back spasms. Okur was replaced in the starting lineup by Campbell, who scored 10 points.
The Cavaliers finished the first quarter with a 32-20 lead - the largest deficit Detroit has had after the first this season.
"We had a terrible first quarter, but our bench brought us back," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "Then at the end, we couldn't secure rebounds."
Knicks 97, Pacers 90
NEW YORK - Two of Isiah Thomas' acquisitions, Penny Hardaway and Stephon Marbury, made several big plays down the stretch to lead New York past Indiana, ending the Pacers' three-game winning streak.
Hardaway had 14 points, including a clinching jumper with 17.2 seconds remaining, and Marbury had 23 points and eight assists. Keith Van Horn outplayed Ron Artest at small forward and had 20 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots, and Kurt Thomas added 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Artest had 19 points for the Pacers, who were coached by Thomas the past three seasons. Thomas was fired in August by new team president Larry Bird.
Raptors 93, 76ers 80
PHILADELPHIA - Vince Carter had 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, and Toronto beat Philadelphia.
Donyell Marshall had 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Jalen Rose had 13 for the Raptors, who ended a two-game losing skid. Former Sixers player Jerome Moiso added 10 points and 11 rebounds, both season highs.
Allen Iverson had 36 points to lead the Sixers, who have lost nine of 11. Glenn Robinson added 18 and Kenny Thomas 15.
Timberwolves 113, Magic 100
MINNEAPOLIS - Kevin Garnett had 30 points and 14 rebounds, and Sam Cassell added 20 points and 10 assists to lead Minnesota over Orlando.
Latrell Sprewell added 25 points and seven assists for the Timberwolves, who won for the 13th time in 15 games - and 13th straight at home.
The Timberwolves struggled to put the Magic away until Garnett re-entered the game with 9 minutes to go and his team up 87-82.
Garnett then scored eight points during Minnesota's 10-2 run. Cassell hit a 3-pointer and later converted a three-point play to give the Wolves a 105-88 lead.
Mavericks 107, Warriors 93
DALLAS - Michael Finley scored 23 points and reserve Antawn Jamison added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Dallas beat Golden State for the 20th straight time.
Steve Nash had 17 points and eight assists for the Mavericks, who ended a two-game skid and have won 10 of 12.
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, named as a reserve to Western Conference All-Star team earlier, finished with nine points, 12 under his season average. Antoine Walker and Josh Howard added 15 points each for the Mavericks.
Kings 117, SuperSonics 101
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Brad Miller scored 14 of his 25 points in the third quarter, and Sacramento beat Seattle for its fourth straight win.
Peja Stojakovic had 26 points for the Kings, who improved to 22-3 this season at Arco Arena.
Rashard Lewis led Seattle with 25 points, while Ray Allen added 23 points, five rebounds and five assists after being named to the All-Star team earlier in the day for the fourth time in his career.
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