AUBURN HILLS, MICH., JUNE 7 -- The Portland Trail Blazers looked down the eye of the Detroit Pistons' usual fourth-quarter hurricane, found calm at the foul line and held on for a 106-105 overtime victory at The Palace, tying the NBA Finals at one game apiece.
Portland made six of six from the line in the overtime, finishing a game in which the Trail Blazers were 33 of 41 from the foul line. Clyde Drexler (game-high 33 points) made the last two, giving them the lead after Bill Laimbeer had electrified the crowd with his fifth three-pointer of the game with 4.1 seconds left. That gave the Pistons a 105-104 lead.
But Dennis Rodman fouled Drexler out front as Drexler started his drive, and made both foul shots. At the other end, James Edwards missed as time expired, and the Pistons' 10-game home winning streak in postseason was over.
Laimbeer (26 points) tied a Finals record for most three-pointers in a half (four) and set a record for most three-pointers in a game.
Portland still came back and tied it at 102 on free throws by Terry Porter (21 points), who set a Finals record for foul shots without a miss (15), and Drexler's jumper with 50.2 seconds remaining.
Laimbeer then missed a three-pointer, and Buck Williams rebounded. Porter missed a drive but Williams (12 points) was fouled by Joe Dumars with 10.2 seconds left. He made both to set up Laimbeer's last three-pointer.
Edwards had 26 points; Isiah Thomas had 23 before fouling out in overtime. He only scored five of his team-high 23 points in the fourth this time, but he had four assists, as Detroit held Portland to 19 fourth-quarter points.
It looked as if Detroit would win in regulation after erasing a five-point deficit with five minutes left. The Pistons went on an 11-3 run, taking a 92-89 lead at 1:41. But Porter's foul shots tied it with 10.2 seconds left. Thomas missed at the buzzer.
Dumars had 16 points for the Pistons. Portland's Kevin Duckworth had 14 points before fouling out on the Salley tipin.
Game 3 of the series will be Sunday in Portland, Ore., where the Pistons have lost 20 straight times since October 1974.
Both teams got their post men off early. Detroit went exclusively to Edwards, two of nine in Game 1, and he scored the Pistons' first 10 points on five-for-five shooting, all on his favorite turnaround jumper on the right baseline.
Portland posted up center Duckworth, whose size was too much even for 6-10 Laimbeer. With Drexler and Jerome Kersey on the other side, Detroit couldn't afford to bring weak-side help, and Duckworth made five of his first six shots.
When the exchange was completed, Portland led by 16-15 midway through the quarter. But the Pistons were once again potent from three-point range. Thomas had already made one when Laimbeer connected to regain the lead for Detroit. That began a 10-0 run that concluded with another three-pointer from Thomas at 3:35, giving the Pistons a 25-16 lead. Detroit was 11 of 15 (.733) from the floor.
Portland got back within six, but Detroit came back with five straight, with Rodman's free throw giving them a 30-19 edge. But Rodman missed the second, and in trying to come down the lane he fell hard on his already twisted left ankle, and immediately left the game.
Detroit led by 30-23 after one, on .571 (12 of 21) shooting.
Laimbeer scored to open the second, but from there the Pistons didn't score for more than four minutes. Baskets from Kersey, Drexler and Porter got the Trail Blazers close, and Cliff Robinson's three-point play at the 8:08 mark tied the game at 32.
Portland Coach Rick Adelman had said he was going to alter his substitution pattern after his reserves' poor performance in Game 1. The Trail Blazers left Drexler and Kersey in, but it was guard Drazen Petrovic who took over.
His baseline score put Portland ahead, and, after Dumars scored on a illegal defense technical foul shot at 7:14, Petrovic's short bank shot provided a 36-33 lead. Porter made two free throws, and after Dumars hit a jumper Petrovic cut across the lane for two more, giving Portland a 40-35 lead.
At 40-37, the Trail Blazers went on an 13-4 run, getting five points from Williams. His tip-in with less than two minutes left in the half gave Portland its biggest lead at 51-41, and Drexler's spinner in the lane made the Trail Blazers' lead 12.
The Pistons scored the last four points of the half and were lucky to be down just 53-45 at intermission.
Portland cooled off to start the third, missing its first four shots and turning the ball over twice. Only free throws from Williams and Porter got the Trail Blazers on the board, as Detroit went on an 8-2 run. Edwards's 20th point brought the Pistons within 55-53.
Detroit was within 59-57 when the Trail Blazers scored 11 of the next 15 points. Duckworth's three-point play started it, and Portland began cashing in at the foul line. Drexler ended the burst with a breakaway dunk, giving the Trail Blazers a 70-61 lead.
Dumars scored, but Portland kept getting to the line. The Trail Blazers weren't perfect, but they scored their last five points of the quarter from the line. They held an 18-5 free throw advantage in the period after both teams had shot nine foul shots in the first half.
Portland led by nine late in the quarter before Dumars scored the last three points of the quarter, and Detroit trailed by 75-69 after three.
The Pistons closed off the inside to begin the fourth, and when Mark Aguirre made his first field goal Detroit was within 75-73. After Danny Young's basket, Aguirre scored to keep the Pistons within two.
Drexler made two from the line, but Aguirre countered with his sixth straight points on foul shots of his own.