Final Dime: Pistons 103, Cavaliers 94
Antawn Jamison led the Wine and Gold with 22 points on Wednesday at The Q.
David Liam Kyle
A visibly upset Byron Scott said it succinctly after Wednesday’s 103-94 defeat – the Cavaliers’ 26th straight.
"That was probably the worst effort that we have had in a month," said Scott. "It's that simple. We didn't compete and didn't come ready to play."
One game after going toe-to-toe with the high-octane Mavericks in Dallas – and tipping off an eight-game homestand – the Cavaliers came out flat and, other than a pair of second-half surges, were never really in Wednesday’s interdivisional battle.
Cleveland trailed by a dozen after two quarters, but used a 7-0 run late in the third to get within a trey – 67-64. But Detroit countered with a 10-2 run to end the period.
In the fourth quarter, the Pistons extended their lead to as much as 17 points. The Cavaliers made it respectable, cutting Detroit’s lead to six, 100-94, with 29.9 to play. But it was far too little and far too late, as the reeling Wine and Gold lost for the 36th time in their last 37 outings.
Antawn Jamison scored 20 of his team-high 22 points after intermission. Jamison was 9-of-19 from the floor with seven boards and three assists.
Ramon Sessions followed up with 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting, adding a game-high 12 assists, six boards and a career-high five steals.
J.J. Hickson was big in the post once again, doubling-up with 18 points and a game-high 15 boards. Daniel Gibson rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 12 points – going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
"We just didn’t come out with the right type of intensity and we didn’t play the right way," said Boobie. "The trouble we’ve been having is we let teams get out in front of us and then for the rest of the game, we’re fighting, fighting and fighting to get back. It’s tough to end games when you’ve fought the entire game like that."
The Cavaliers out-shot Detroit – 51 percent to 43 – but were beaten on the boards and, more tellingly, committed 17 turnovers that led to 24 Pistons points. John Kuester’s club also doubled-up the Wine and Gold in second-chance points, 16-8.
Byron Scott’s squad will practice on Thursday before welcoming Blake Griffin and the Clippers to The Q for a Friday night affair.
2. Since taking over as the Cavaliers starting center, J.J. Hickson is third in the Eastern Conference – trailing only Dwight Howard (14.9) and Andrew Bogut (12.1) in rebounding with an 11.3 rpg average.
3. With 12 more helpers on Wednesday, Ramon Sessions is tied for the third-longest streak in the NBA of handing out at least seven assists in a game – tied with Utah’s Deron Williams with six straight. Over the last eight games, Sessions is averaging 9.6 assists per contest.
4. Anthony Parker is shooting .556 from beyond the arc in February.
5. More than any other team in the East this month, the Cavaliers depend on their starters for their scoring, averaging 78.6 points per game. Cleveland got just 17 points from their reserves on Wednesday. The Pistons got 61 from their second unit.
6. The Cavaliers have a pair of connections with these current Pistons, including Head Coach John Kuester, who was an assistant under Mike Brown from 2007-09. Ben Wallace played a season-and-a-half with the Wine and Gold – 78 regular season and 27 playoff games to be exact. Big Ben got a warm ovation during team introductions.
7. Detroit’s win snaps a four-game Cavaliers win streak over the Pistons at The Q.
8. J.J. Hickson notched his 15th double-double of the season on Wednesday night.
9. Daniel Gibson, who was named to the Three-Point Shootout at All-Star Weekend in L.A., went 4-for-7 from long-distance and is shooting .439 on the season – good for fifth in the Eastern Conference and 11th overall.
10. The Cavaliers tipped off their longest homestand of the season and don’t hit the road again until March 4. So far this season, the Wine and Gold has played more road games (30) and less home games (23) than any team in the league.
Joe Gabriele is the official beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Cavs.com. You can follow Joe and send him your questions on Twitter at @CavsJoeG.