Cavs Rally Comes Up Short
Wrap-Up – Still without their high-scoring starting backcourt, the beat went on for the Wine and Gold – who cut Detroit’s 14-point fourth-quarter lead to just four but didn’t have enough firepower to close the deal, falling to Detroit, 104-97, on Saturday night at The Q.Cleveland was led by Jeremy Pargo’s 24-point performance. He scored nine of his team-high 24 in the fourth quarter, but Detroit’s Brandon Knight was a little bit better – netting 13 of his career-high 30 in the final period. Anderson Varejao started a new double-double string, notching 16 points, 13 boards, five assists and a pair of blocked shots. C.J. Miles added 15 points and Tyler Zeller pitched in with 13 points and eight boards off Byron Scott’s bench.
Turning Point – The Central Division matchup was tied late in the third quarter and Cleveland trailed by just a half-dozen headed to the fourth. But Brandon Knight ignited a 12-2 run early in the final period that extended Detroit’s edge to two touchdowns, 88-74. The Cavs rallied and cut the Pistons’ lead to 101-97 late in the contest. But Knight and Tayshaun Prince sank free throws to put the game out of reach.
Game Ball – Tyler Zeller – With Tristan Thompson struggling for the second straight night, Zeller was strong off the bench – going 6-for-11 from the floor and grabbing five of his eight rebounds off the offensive glass. The rookie from North Carolina also led both squads with three blocked shots.
By the Numbers – 12.6 … scoring average for C.J. Miles over his last three games – including his season-high 15-point effort in Saturday’s loss to Detroit.
Quotable – Tyler Zeller, breaking down the Cavaliers’ troubles during their five-game losing streak …
“We’ve just got to put four quarters together, which we’ve struggled with all year. We have slow starts and then finish strong and vice versa. We’ve got to put four quarters together and be able to withstand runs.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers have two straight home games only once in the month of December and their second straight contest at The Q comes on Tuesday when they welcome Kobe Bryant and the Lakers to Cleveland. After that, it’s right back on the road, where they’ll face the Pacers on Wednesday night in Indy.