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>>caption: STUCKEY STRETCHERED
OFF THE FLOOR<<
@ CLEVELAND, OH:
The Cavaliers extended their
winning streak to six games and
Detroit's losing streak to six in a
99-92 Friday night decision.
That was pretty much expected.
What wasn't expected was the
way the Cavs had to overcome their
largest home court defecit (21-P) of
the seasaon AND the fact the game
itself was overshadowed by a medical emergency.
Late in the 3rd-Qtr Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey suddenly collapsed on
the Detroit bench during a timeout. The game was delayed 12-mins while an
unconcious Stuckey, who appeared to have suffered a seizure, was cradled
in the arms of Pistons strength coach Arnie Kander while the medical staffs of
both teams checked Stuckey's vital signs, placed an oxygen mask on his face
and strapped Stuckey to a stretcher so he could be wheeled out of the arena.
Stuckey was taken by ambulance about a mile to the Cleveland Clinic. There
his vital signs were reported stable, Stuickey regained consciousness and was
able to breathe on his own. Stuckey was held overnight to undergo observation
Stuckey had felt dizzy as he walked off the court to talk to teammate Jonas
Jarebko, sat down, and passed out into Kander's arems shortly after asking for
Stuckey missed two games in 2008 due to dizzy spells.
What had started as a sweet night against the NBA's leading team was already
going sour as the Piston collapse began before Stuckey's and continued after the
LeBron James carried the Cavalier comeback with a game-high 40-P.
The Pistons shot 56% in the 1st-Qtr when Tayshaun Prince scored 12-P ,
Jarebko grabbed 8-RB and Detroit took a 31-22 lead. The margin expanded
to 21-P at 49-28 with 7:45 remaining in the 2nd-Qtr when Kwame Brown, of all
people, hit a 17-foot jumper.
Cleveland then began to eat away at the defecit and more than cut the
Detroit lead in half. A driving layup by James with 23-sec left made it a 9-P
game at 55-46 and that's the way it was at halftime.
Twice early in the 3rd-Qtr the Pistons went back up by 13-P, but the Cavs
kept on coming and an Anderson Varejao layup both drew a foul on Jarebko
and brought Cleveland within 6-P at 67-61 with two and a half minutes to
play in the quarter.
Stuckey passed out during the timeout and a shaken Varejao missed
his try to complete the 3-point play when action resumed. However, Cleveland
pulled within 70-68 at the end of the period on a 26-foot triple by James.
While LeBron rested, Cleveland took command with a 13-3 run over the first
3:12 of the 4th-Qtr to go ahead 81-73 in a burst where Antawn Jamison scored
the quarter's first 7-P to put Cleveland ahead 75-70. The closest Detroit could
come after that was 84-80 on a Charlie Villanureva 3-pointer with 7:11 showing.
James double-doubled with game-highs of 40-P and 13-RB. Jamison had 17-P,
Varejao 16-P and Delonte West 12-P with a team-high 7-A.
Stuckey left the contest with 8-P and what proved to be a game-high of
10-A. Prince scored a team-high 23-P and Rip Hamilton added 20-P. Villanueva
had 12-P and Ben Gordon 10-P, both off the bench. Jarebko never did score
(0-for-5 shooting), but did grab a team-high 12-RB inmcluding 10 off the defensive
The Cavaliers are now 49-14 overall including 27-4 at home, both NBA bests.
The Pistons tumbled to 21-41 including 7-24 on the road.
PISTONS H-COACH JOHN KUESTER: "I was meeting with the coaches, all of a sudden
I saw [Stuckey] leaning over with Arnie and before I knew it, he was on the ground
...It's not pleasant to talk abou. All that matters is he's going to be OK...I’ll tell you
this, the guys wanted to rally for him and play with the same type of intensity that
they basically did the entire night. I was very pleased with our effort, you’re playing
one of the best teams in the NBA."
PISTONS FWD CHARLIE VILLANUEVA: "[Stuckey] came over and told Arnie he was
feeling dizzy. He drank some water and the next thing you know, he passed out.
It's very scary. One minute, you think everything is OK, then the next second,
it turns around so quick."
PISTONS FWD JONAS JAREBKO: "My mind came off the game, of course [when
Stuckey went down]. I don't know if it changed the outcome."
CAVS FWD LeBRON JAMES: "The game is much bigger than players, coaches and
fans. Tonight was a game between Cleveland and Detroit, but when an instance like
that happens, we all become one family. All of our prayers are with Rodney Stuckey
and his family...Defensively, we weren’t flying around and being physical by making
them run through our numbers. We gave them their spots and they made a lot of
jump shots. We knew we had to turn it around...I do whatever’s possible for my
team to win ball games. If they need me to score, pass, rebound, whatever it takes."
CAVS FWD ANTAWN JAMISON: "We came out a little passive in the first half. LeBron
did a good job as far as keeping us in it and when he hit the bench, we needed someone
[him] to come out and give us a spark...I’m thinking too much. I’m not being aggressive.
It’s going to take time [after coming to the Cavs in a February trade] but I’m starting
to get better at it. I’m not worried about missing shots and things of that nature, but
when I get in my comfort zone, its going to be pretty good...the guys have done a great
job as far as making me feel welcome."
The two teams huddled at center court in prayer after the conclusion of the
Stuckey is the only Piston to play in all 62 games.
CEN Ben Wallace sat out a second straight game for Detroit with a right
Cleveland's comeback was its largest since overcoming s 25-P defecit to
beat Boston on 11/6/2005.
James became Cleveland's franchise leader in career minutes played Friday,
surpassing the mark set by Zydrunas Ilgauskas earlier this season before he
Fans in attendance Friday set a silly world record for wearing a "Snuggie" for
five minutes, becoming the largest gathering of people (20,562) to wear fleece
blankets. At least one fan disdained the wine & gold Cavalier colors to wear a
Piston patterned snuggie.
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