Wine and Gold Fall in Motown
Wrap-Up – Over the course of an 82-game NBA season, a team is going to have a night like the Cavs did on Friday in Detroit. The problem is: the Cavs have had three straight games like Friday’s against the Pistons this season.The Cavaliers never led and barely threatened the Pistons on Friday, save a fourth-quarter stretch when they got to within nine, 99-90, on a C.J. Miles three-pointer. Miles was part of a second unit that Coach Scott left on the floor for the entire fourth quarter. He finished with a dozen points, Wayne Ellington added 13 and Marreese Speights finished with 17 – his fourth straight double-digit scoring effort as a Cavalier.
Tristan Thompson led the Wine and Gold with 19 points and nine boards and Kyrie Irving added 14 and five assists – although the Eastern Conference’s reigning Player of the Week had a dozen at the break and attempted only one field goal in the second half.
Turning Point – After a cool-shooting first stanza, the Cavaliers were still able to stay within striking distance on Marreese Speights’ three-pointer at the buzzer. They kept it close through the first half of the third period, but the backcourt combination of Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey led Detroit on a 23-6 run to close the quarter.
Game Ball – Cavs Second Unit – Marreese Speights added eight boards to his 17-point effort, Wayne Ellington canned three more threes and Shaun Livingston led the team with six assists. Overall, the Cavs bench outscored their starters, 54-45.
By the Numbers – 14 … straight games that Tristan Thompson has scored in double-figures. During that stretch, he’s averaging 15.9 and 10.6 boards and the Cavaliers’ record is 6-8.
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on the Cavaliers’ effort against Detroit on Friday night …
“Like I told the guys in (the locker room), the reason (Detroit has) beat us pretty handily in the three times they’ve beat us is because they play harder than we do for longer periods of time. They play hard for 48 minutes. We play hard for another five or six and then we get back in the game and we get back to being lackadaisical. And number two, I think they’re tougher than us. Simple as that.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers come home on Saturday night to tip off a season-long seven-game homestand with a tilt against Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Cleveland then gets three nights off before playing three games in four nights – on Wednesday against the Bobcats, Friday versus the Magic and next Saturday night when they welcome the Nuggets.