Cavaliers Dropped in Detroit

Pistons Crush Flat Cavs in Motown
by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor

Since the start of April, the shorthanded Cavaliers had been back to battling for 48 minutes. But for the second straight game, they dug themselves a huge first-half hole and couldn’t recover.

One game after notching just 30 first-half points, the Cavaliers netted just 38 before intermission on Tuesday at The Palace.

They allowed the Pistons to score a season-high 61 points after two quarters and Detroit didn’t let up from there – scoring the first 16 points of the second stanza and running out to the one-sided 116-77 decision.

It was the Cavaliers worst defeat of the season.

Numerically speaking, the Pistons shot an even 60 percent from the floor and by the end of three quarters led the game, 100-50. Cleveland, conversely, shot just 35 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers.

"One of the worst games we’ve played in a long time," lamented Coach Byron Scott. "I give the Pistons a lot of credit. They played 10 times harder than we did and were ready to play from the start of the game to the finish."

The Cavaliers, already down several starters and their best perimeter defender, were without Alonzo Gee – out with a left ankle sprain. They were also playing their fourth game in five nights.

Brandon Knight, who normally duels with fellow rookie Kyrie Irving, went off on Tuesday – notching 28 points on 11-for-12 shooting, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Like all of Detroit’s starters – and most of the Cavs’ starting five – he was given the fourth quarter off.

The Cavaliers were led by Detroit native, Manny Harris, who netted 13 of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. He was one of four Cavaliers in double-digits. Tristan Thompson was one of the other bright spots on a dismal night – finishing with 12 points and 13 boards.

"The good thing is we’ve got another game tomorrow, so we just have to forget about this game today and learn from the mistakes," said Harris. "At the same time, but we can go out there tomorrow and play with a lot more energy and effort."

Anthony Parker stayed strong from the floor, going 4-of-6 from the floor for 10 points. Antawn Jamison personified the Cavaliers’ problems on Tuesday, with the normally rock-solid veteran going 0-for-10 from the field.

If nothing else, the Cavaliers will have a chance to wipe Tuesday’s drubbing off their minds as they welcome the reeling Sixers to The Q on Wednesday night.

  • Tristan Thompson notched his eighth double-double of the season on Tuesday night.

  • Though it’d be tough to tell on Tuesday, over the last three seasons, the Cavaliers have averaged more points per game in the Motor City than any other team in the Eastern Conference at 103.6 points per contest. The Knicks are next at 103.4.

  • Even with “Lesanity” cooling off over past couple games, Lester Hudson (144) is still among the league’s top second-unit scorers in April – trailing only Nate Robinson (160), O.J. Mayo (149) and Jason Terry (147).

  • With Tuesday’s defeat, the Cavs tied the season series with Detroit this season at two games apiece. Cleveland has also lost seven straight against Central Division foes.

  • After Tuesday, Antawn Jamison now needs only 15 points to pass Gail Goodrich for 45th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He started the season 58th on the list and has passed Hall of Famers Julius Erving, Rick Barry, Isiah Thomas and Scottie Pippen. Jamison, who now has 19,167 points, will then set his sights on Eddie Johnson (19,202) and Bob Lanier (19,248).