The Cleveland Cavaliers have defeated the Detroit Pistons 121-108 in a game that was within reach for the Pistons until a collapse in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the similarly struggling Cavs.
It was an offensive battle, as the Pistons tied their season-high for 3-pointers in a half with 10. However, the offensive outburst only secured the reeling Pistons a three-point halftime lead. Anthony Tolliver was inserted into the starting lineup to help defend Cleveland’s big frontcourt and responded with 20 points. Tobias Harris had an early injury scare but returned and eventually also finished with 20 points. Andre Drummond finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists while committing just one turnover. Drummond’s one giveaway was the only turnover for the Pistons by a player not named Ish Smith. Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock also contributed 14 points each.
It was a balanced offensive attack for the Cavaliers, as they finished with six players in double figures. Led by Kevin Love’s sniping and inside scoring and LeBron James’ crunch-time heroics, Cleveland was able to put the Pistons away handily in the fourth quarter, as Detroit had no answer for The King running the point. JR Smith and Kyle Korver combined for 27 points and seven threes, as the Pistons continue to struggle to guard the 3-point line consistently.
The Pistons last win was a 114-80 bludgeoning of the Brooklyn Nets on January 10th, and as the deadline approaches, Detroit must decide if they will try to right the ship and become buyers, or break up the core and start fresh. Cleveland and Detroit face off again on Tuesday.
Featured Image – (Brian Sevald/NBAE Getty Images)