Pistons Top Cavs at The Q
Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers have struggled to get their engine started in certain games away from The Q this year, but they haven’t had that problem at home. On Monday night, however, the road blues came to Cleveland and the Wine and Gold fell to the Pistons in a lopsided 115-92 loss on the corner of Huron and Ontario.
Kyrie Irving netted 19 of his team-high 21 points in the first half, going 7-for-14 from the floor on the evening. The All-Star guard went 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 from the stripe, adding seven assists, three boards and a steal. Tristan Thompson was the only other starter in double-figures with 17 points. Tyler Zeller came off the bench to notch 13 points and Matthew Dellavedova finished with 10 points and six assists, going 4-for-6 from the floor.
The Pistons led by ten after one quarter and by 18 at intermission. The Cavaliers never got the lead back under double-digits and Detroit eventually upped their edge to 28 points. Detroit out-rebounded Cleveland, 50-39, and dominated the Cavs in the point, 58-40.
Turning Point – Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, the turning point of Monday’s contest was near the end of the first quarter. The game was tied at 12-apiece midway through the period, but Josh Smith canned three straight buckets and assisted on Rodney Stuckey’s three-pointer. Smith’s next basket put the Pistons up double-digits – and they never looked back.
Game Ball – Tyler Zeller – It hasn’t been an easy sophomore season for Zeller, who’s had to overcome various aches and pains all year. Zeller’s been playing well of late and took advantage of the fourth-quarter minutes on Monday. The former Tar Heel went 6-for-7 from the floor, adding four boards and an assist in only 14 minutes of action.
By the Numbers – 41 … points total for the Cavaliers’ bench in Monday’s loss. Cleveland’s reserves lead the Eastern Conference at 40.0 points per contest. They’ve topped the 40-point plateau 13 times this season.
Quotable – Tristan Thomspn, on what went wrong on Monday night …
”We just didn’t follow the game plan. Coach (Brown) told us what we needed to do and we didn’t execute; it’s that simple. When you don’t do what coach says, or do it the way he feels is the way to win, we’re going to get our butt handed to us.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers welcome the Atlanta Hawks to The Q on the day after Christmas then travel to Boston for an afternoon matchup in Beantown – 1 p.m. start . On Sunday, they return to Cleveland to take on the Splash Brothers -- Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson – and the Golden State Warriors. The Wine and Gold wrap up the 2013 portion of this year’s schedule two days later when they travel to Indiana to face off in a New Year’s Eve matinee against the Pacers.