Notebook: Pistons 89, Cavaliers 79



Posted Dec 4, 2012 1:17 AM

By Dana Gauruder, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Detroit Pistons recorded a season-high 13 blocks, five by forward Jason Maxiell, and rolled to an 89-79 victory over the depleted Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills Monday night. Detroit guard Brandon Knight, playing with a thigh bruise, had a team-high 17 points while Tayshaun Prince and Kyle Singler added 15 apiece. Cleveland, which played without their starting backcourt of Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving, received 17 points and 18 rebounds from center Anderson Varejao, his ninth consecutive double-double.

QUOTABLE: "You would never know how tall Jason Maxiell is because of how hard he plays. He may be 6-5, 6-6 -- he calls himself 6-8 -- but he plays like he's seven feet. That's what it boils down to: he plays as hard as he can every single play."

-- Pistons rookie center Andre Drummond on the 6-foot-7 Maxiell

THE STAT: 33.7. The Cavaliers shot a season-low 33.7 percent, thanks to Detroit's rim protection and their inability to hit from long range (3-for-20 on 3-point attempts). Their starting perimeter players, Omri Casspi, Alonzo Gee and Jeremy Pargo, shot a combined 10-for-34. Cleveland's previous low was 35.7 percent against Phoenix on Nov. 27.

TURNING POINT: Detroit rookie guard Singler scored seven consecutive points for his club late in the first quarter, establishing a 14-point lead. Singler made a pullup in transition, a baseline jumper and a 3-pointer during that stretch as the Pistons (6-13) scored a season high 30 first-quarter points. They led by double digits from that point until midway through the fourth quarter.

QUOTABLE II: You don't want to have to rely on that but, in case you do get beat, [it's important] having bigs that have the ability to step up and have different consequences, whether it's taking charges or blocking shots. That definitely gives you a lot more confidence to really try to pressure-up."

-- Brandon Knight on Detroit's shot-blocking ability

HOT: Maxiell has blocked 13 shots in the last three games, including five in back-to-back games. He's also scored in double digits the past two games. By making six rebounds, he moved past the 2,000 mark for his career.

NOT: Cavs guard Daniel Gibson has been a Pistons killer in the past but he couldn't get his long-range game going Monday. He attempted six shots from beyond the 3-point arc and made just one.

ROOKIE WATCH: Drummond, Detroit's lottery pick, was a major factor in the lane. He had seven points, 12 rebounds -- nine at the offensive end -- and three blocks in 20 minutes. Reserve center Tyler Zeller had eight points and four rebounds for the Cavs.

NOTABLE: Waiters, the league's second-highest scorer rookie at 15.2 points per game, missed the game because of a left ankle sprain. He's questionable to play against Chicago Wednesday. Irving has been sidelined eight consecutive games with a fractured finger. ... Cleveland (4-14) has grabbed more offensive rebounds than its opponent in 17 of 18 games. ... Varajeo has 15 or more rebounds in nine consecutive games. ... Detroit has given up 16.9 fewer points (84.3 compared to 101.2) in its victories, compared to its losses. ... Singler was poked in the eye by Varejao in the third quarter, but returned in the late going.

UP NEXT: For the Cavaliers, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Friday @ Minnesota, Saturday vs. Detroit. For the Pistons, Wednesday vs. Golden State, Friday vs. Chicago, Saturday @ Cleveland.