Final Dime: Cavaliers 104, Pistons 79
LeBron James finished with 15 points and seven assists in Sunday's win.
David Liam Kyle
Leon Powe, who missed almost three-quarters of the season, led the Cavaliers with 16 points as Cleveland completed their season sweep of the listless Pistons with the 104-79 drubbing at The Q. The win was Cleveland’s seventh straight.
Playing their former nemeses to the north for the third time in 17 days, the Wine and Gold passed on the dramatics and instead took Detroit apart from the first quarter forward. The Cavaliers led by as many as 19 points in the first half and as many as 29 in the second. The Pistons didn’t have a lead all evening.
Powe was 5-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-10 from the stripe – showing the tenacity that marked his first two seasons with Boston and made him such a lucrative catch for Cleveland. The former Cal Bear scored half of his points in the fourth period, adding seven boards and a steal.
“He’s one of those guys – kind of like Delonte – that you learn something new about every single game,” praised Coach Brown. “It’s good to see him on our side, having that physical toughness and playing that grinding basketball and being a presence on both ends of the floor.”
“Each game the knee gets better and better and the rust comes off,” added Powe. “I’m getting my timing and rhythm back. I’m moving around on offense and learning the offense a little bit more. Everything is coming into place right now.”
Aside from Antawn Jamison, every member of the Cavaliers starting five notched double-figures. LeBron led the way with an economical 15-point, seven-assist effort. James was 5-of-9 from the floor, including 2-for-3 from long-distance, and was able to take in the fourth quarter from Cleveland’s bench.
J.J. Hickson pitched in with 13 points and eight boards, Mo Williams added a dozen points and a game-high eight assists and Anthony Parker finished with 11.
Delonte West netted 15 points off Mike Brown’s bench – part of the 47 points scored by Cleveland’s reserves. Jawad Williams and Anderson Varejao added six points apiece, with Anderson leading the Wine and Gold with nine boards.
The Cavaliers outshot and outrebounded the Pistons, but probably the most significant statistic was the turnovers (or lack thereof) that Cleveland committed – giving up just two Pistons’ points on just eight miscues.
Cleveland comes down to its final 11 games of the regular season beginning with a short road trip to wrap up the road portion of the Western Conference schedule. The Cavs face the Hornets in the Big Easy on Tuesday and travel to San Antonio for a Friday night affair.
2. Sunday night’s win was Cleveland’s seventh straight win over the Pistons – 11 straight considering last year’s First Round sweep.
3. With the victory, the Cavaliers are now a league-best 13-1 since their three-game losing streak ended on February 23.
4. The Cavaliers have now outshot their opponents in 13 straight contests – (topping Detroit 49 percent to 41 percent) – which is easily the longest run in the NBA. (Boston’s next with four.)
5. With just three games remaining against Central Division foes, the Cavaliers are 11-2 (.846) thus far this season. In the 13 games against the Central this season, they’ve held eight opponents under 90 points.
6. The Cavaliers swept the Pistons, 4-0, this season – giving them just their second sweep of Detroit in franchise history. In 1979-80, Cleveland took the season series, 6-0.
7. When the Cavaliers took the court on Sunday, it was with another banner in the rafters – that of Central Division Champs for the second straight season.
8. On Sunday, the Cavaliers won their 26th consecutive victory over a sub-.500 team, increasing their season mark to 31-3 (.912) against losing teams.
9. Since Mike Brown’s first season in 2005-06, the Cavaliers are an NBA-best 55-18 in the month of March – including 36-4 over that span at The Q. Cleveland has now won 17 straight at home in March.
10. Leon Powe’s 16 points were his highest point output of the season and best regular season game since an 18-point effort on April 15 of last year. Powe has missed 60 games this year, but in the 11 that he’s played, Cleveland is 11-0.