Notebook: Pistons 111, Cavaliers 104



Posted Apr 11, 2013 12:01 AM

By Brian Dulik, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Rookie center Andre Drummond scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in leading the Detroit Pistons to a 111-104 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday.

Drummond also set career bests in free throws made (9) and attempted (17). Detroit (27-52) power forward Greg Monroe added 23 points and eight boards for Detroit, while shooting guard Rodney Stuckey chipped in 18 points and seven assists. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving led Cleveland (24-54) with 27 points and a game-high nine assists, but also committed five turnovers. The Pistons swept their four-game season series with the Cavaliers for the first time since 2002-2003.

QUOTABLE: "Even with our [tough] schedule, we've got to find a way to win games. Andre [and I] were just being aggressive tonight, which we should be. We both want to continue to get better, and continue to get better together."

-- Pistons power forward Greg Monroe

THE STAT: Drummond entered the game shooting .344 from the foul line, but made 9-for-17 on free throws to foil the "Hack-a-Dre" strategy employed by the Cavaliers. The ninth overall pick in the NBA Draft was fouled away from the ball seven times in the fourth quarter -- all in a 195-second span -- but calmly buried 8-for-14 (.571). "Andre has to go through this, and mentally, he did a great job," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "I'll tell you how well he handled it. When I subbed in Jonas [Jerebko] on that late sideout, he was [ticked], which was great."

TURNING POINT: Monroe scored on an uncontested layup with 39 seconds left to give the Pistons a 105-103 lead they never relinquished. Irving subsequently rushed up a 26-footer that was off the mark, beginning a Detroit parade to the charity stripe. Stuckey, Jerebko, and small forward Kyle Singler converted 6-for-8 free throws in the final 18 seconds as the Pistons ended the contest on an 8-1 run. "These are the guys we're building around, and I've got to fight for them," Frank said. "I felt comfortable leaving them out there at the end."

QUOTABLE II: "I knew I needed to make free throws for us to win, so I just focused. Some went in, some went out, but all of them were on line. It gave me the chance to score more points. That's the way you've got to look at it."

-- Pistons center Andre Drummond

HOT: Drummond made his first nine field goal attempts and finished the evening 10-for-11 from the floor (.909). The Connecticut product took all 11 of his shots under the basket, making seven dunks and three layups, but missing one alley-oop. ... Pistons point guard Will Bynum played the entire fourth quarter and scored 12 points. ... Detroit won back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 8-9. ... Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters (left knee soreness) returned from a 10-game absence and scored 11 points in 15 minutes off the bench. ... Cleveland power forward Tristan Thompson collected 19 points and eight rebounds.

NOT: Irving is shooting 29-for-86 (.337) from the floor since returning from a sprained left shoulder four games ago, including 7-for-24 on 3-pointers (.292). ... Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller and small forward Alonzo Gee combined for zero points, zero rebounds, and zero assists in 26 first-half minutes. ... Cleveland is 2-12 since March 15, and has the third-worst home record in the NBA at 14-25. ... The Cavaliers committed 17 fouls in the fourth quarter, which lasted 50 minutes and saw the Pistons go 17-for-27 from the foul line. ... Detroit power forward Charlie Villanueva missed three shots and went scoreless off the bench.

QUOTABLE III: "Andre always is a big force for us at the defensive end and he's great at crashing the boards, like you saw. I was proud of him for the way he made free throws tonight. He's going to be a great player for us."

-- Pistons point guard Will Bynum

GOOD MOVE: Frank resisted the urge to take Drummond out of the game during the Cavaliers' fourth-quarter foul fest, citing his ability to defend the basket. "The great thing about Andre is he struggled a little bit in the first half, but he kept fighting and came back strong," the coach explained. "He works on his foul shooting every day with [assistant coach] Dee Brown, and it showed in his confidence."

BAD MOVE: Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Irving and fourth overall draft pick Waiters are unquestionably the Cavaliers' backcourt of the future, but were only on the court together for 2:14. Before the game, Cleveland coach Byron Scott said he planned on using the duo as often as possible in the final five contests of the regular season, but only did so sparingly in the second and fourth quarters.

NOTABLE: Pistons point guard Jose Calderon (right triceps strain) -- the NBA leader with a .461 3-point percentage -- missed his second game in a row. He traveled to Cleveland with the team and continues to be listed as day-to-day. ... Detroit center Jason Maxiell (season-ending detached retina surgery) did not accompany the Pistons on the road. ... The Cavaliers played without shooting guards C.J. Miles (concussion, forehead laceration) and Daniel Gibson (right elbow soreness), power forward Luke Walton (right ankle sprain), and center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery).

UP NEXT: For the Pistons, Friday vs. Charlotte, Monday vs. Philadelphia, April 17 @ Brooklyn. For the Cavaliers, Friday vs. New York, Sunday @ Philadelphia, Monday vs. Miami.