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Final - Going with four rookies against Detroit's starters through much of the fourth quarter, the Wine and Gold outscored the Pistons, 26-17, in the final period to seal the 96-84 win on Thursday night at The Q. Kyrie Irving and Jermaine Taylor led Cleveland with 15 points apiece. Karasev, Bennett, Dellavedova, J. Taylor all impressive. Cavs improve to 3-1 in preseason. Cleveland had seven players in double-figures; Anderson Varejao grabbed 11 boards, Henry Sims -- fighting for a roster spot -- grabbed 10 rebounds in just 20 minutes off the bench.
3:43, 4Q: - Cavs up, 91-79. Karasev slowed down when he picked up his 5th PF, but waking up in 4th -- drained a pair of jumpers, fed Jermaine Taylor on a nice alley-oop. Kind of surprising Cavs have a 12-point lead considering Cleveland is going with rookies and Camp invitees and Pistons were going with all five starters.
End 3Q: - Most encouraging sight of the night - Earl Clark looking comfortable, now 5-9 FG on the night (after coming into Thursday 5-for-21 FG). Cavs outscored Pistons, 24-18 in 3Q, turned it up defensively and went with two PG (Kyrie and Dellavedova) through most of the period. Four Cavs (Kyrie, 15 pts; Tristan, 11; Clark, Varejao, 10 apiece) in double figures. Irving with a 12-point 3rd Q. Detroit's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope might have the best name in the NBA. If Harry Potter/Daniel Radcliffe loves NBA fantasy like he loves NFL fantasy, he'd probably draft him first overall.
5:56, 3Q: - Cavs still down three - 60-57. Varejao with a double-double, 10 pts, 11 reb; Thompson, 11pt, 5reb; Andre Drummond just missed the rim on a FT attempt, barely drew iron on second, flat-out missed third; Cavs bench combining for 24 pts; Detroit bench 11, but three starters in double-figures (Monroe, 14).
First half highlight: Anderson Varejao goes behind the back to Tristan Thompson, who throws down the lefty dunk ...
End 1H - Pistons up, 49-46. Kyrie drains a three-pointer from the left corner to end the half. Thompson leads CLE with 11 points; Varejao with 9 reb. Gee, not quite himself, still somwhat favoring sore hamstring, missed a bunny he'd normally crush -- finished 1H with 1 pt, 4 PF. Tristan, 12 FG attempts, twice as many as next Cav. These two teams will grow up together in the Eastern Conference, might be playoff rivals again one day soon. Josh Smith, Greg Monroe - 10pts apiece.
First half highlight: The No. 1 pick picks Peyton and dunks on the other end ...
7:28, 2Q - A pair of nice back-to-back defensive plays by Karasev, who's giving Chauncey Billups -- who was drafted when Sergey was four years old -- all he can handle (0-5 FG). Henry Sims, 6pts off the bench; Jermaine Taylor, Bennett - 5pts apiece.
End 1Q - Cavs up, 27-25. Anthony Bennett showed his stuff from the outside and around the hoop, picking Peyton Siva and going the length of the floor to crush home a two-handed dunk. Tristan, 7pts, 3reb; Varejao, 6pts, 8 rebounds -- tying the entire Pistons team.
4:00, 1Q - Anderson Varejao, already with 6 pts, 8 reb; Sergey Karasev, as Coach Brown mentioned this morning, is not intimidated by the NBA game, splashed home his first 3-pointer from the top of the arc; Anthony Bennett and Matthew Dellavedova on the floor already -- Delly hit a nice teardrop in the lane, Bennett cans a trey. You know it's preseason when Mike Brown plays three rookies in the first quarter.
Pregame - Some pregame tidbits ... Cavs assistant Bernie Bickerstaff telling Campy Russell how ticked off he gets every time he walks into the Cleveland Clinic Courts and sees the 1975-76 Central Division Champs banner. Bickerstaff was an assistant with the Washington Bullets when Campy's "Miracle of Richfield" team knocked them off ... Kyrie Irving spent a couple minutes in the Cavs locker room, trying to untangle the laces on the shoes he's wearing right now, which someone -- possibly a veteran guard -- tied together ... Dion Waiters (right hip contusion) and CJ Miles (sore left leg) are OUT tonight ... Alonzo Gee, who had a 10-minute limit on Tuesday, will go at least 15 on Thursday.