Time was running out at the Palace when Cleveland star LeBron James drove and dished to Donyell Marshall, but he missed a wide-open three-pointer with five-point-nine seconds left.
Chauncey Billups chased down the long rebound of Marshall’s miss from the corner, and he later made one of two free throws with two-point-four seconds left.
James finished with ten points, on five-of-15 shooting, ten rebounds and nine assists.
Detroit’s Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and had seven assists, while Rasheed Wallace had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Game Two is Thursday night at the Palace.