Detroit beats the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-99

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KeithAllisonPhoto.com

Hussein Murray, Staff Writer

AUBURN HILLS, MI – After four straight losses on the road, the Detroit Pistons have finally picked up steam once again with a home win against the reigning Eastern Conference Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Andre Drummond continued his reign of dominance in the paint, recording 25 points and 18 rebounds. This is Drummond’s 11th straight double-double on the season.

Throughout the game, Drummond received numerous alley-oops from teammate Reggie Jackson, who also had a double-double with 23 points and 12 assists. Jackson came in clutch for Detroit late in the fourth quarter, knocking down six straight free-throws to end the game.

Despite the issues arising from Detroit’s bench in terms of general effectiveness, those blemishes were covered by the starting five, who all poured in double-figures in points. The combined scoring of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilyasova helped in a big way to achieve the victory for a large Palace crowd.

Obviously, some of that attendance was helped in part by the arrival of Lebron James, the four-time league-MVP who contributed for the Cavaliers with a game-high 30 points.  Just like Drummond’s Pistons, all five starters for the Cavaliers scored in double-figures.

In the first quarter, Detroit relied on bursts of scoring from Reggie Jackson, and a slew of threes from Ilyasova and Caldwell-Pope. Detroit had momentum on their side, controlling the tempo of the game.

Andre Drummond was finding good looks on offense, and getting a few putbacks and other offensive rebounds. The screen and roll combination with Reggie Jackson, along with the space created by Detroit’s shooters helped Drummond have room to operate in the post.

However, the same could not be said in the second and third quarters.

Eventually, the Pistons could not efficiently score a basket, while Lebron James put on a show from the perimeter, knocking down contested threes throughout the second quarter. However, a late scoring burst from Detroit kept them in the game, as Detroit ended the half only down one point thanks to a Drummond tip-in putback at the buzzer.

In the third quarter, Detroit still struggled as Mo Williams and Kevin Love of Cleveland put on their own scoring performances. Detroit continued to turn the ball over, and failed to consistently knock down open shots, while forcing the issue on numerous occasions.

Kevin Love went down for a brief moment, seeming to clutch his abdominal area while grimacing in slight pain. Fortunately, Love never left the game, and seemed to be fine throughout.

In the fourth quarter, Detroit finally got its groove back, scoring well once again and playing defense, the Cavaliers were forced into their share of mistakes, ranging from turnovers to countless missed free throws. Detroit finally was able to take the lead thanks to four surprising-yet-helpful free throws from Andre Drummond. From there, Detroit only allowed two points on a James-layup for the rest of the game.

Detroit finally got back on track against Cleveland, a formidable opponent. While Detroit still needs a few more wins to get back to the success gained in the first games of the season, Pistons fans can continue to be optimistic about their playoff hopes. Detroit will play at Minnesota on Friday.