Cavs Lose Love, Fall to Shorthanded Pistons

Love Suffers Hand Fracture, Detroit Rallies Late to Snap Slide
Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- Whether it was the shorthanded Pistons circling the wagons with a superstar waiting in the wings or the Cavaliers finding out at halftime that their five-time All-Star forward was about to miss significant time – fortunes certainly reversed for both squads in 48 hours.

On the eve of a big trade, the Pistons avenged Sunday’s loss – using a fourth-quarter surge to pull past Cleveland, 125-114, on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

All the good vibrations the Wine & Gold were feeling after Sunday’s win over Detroit – their first two-game win streak since mid-December – were doused just before half when the team learned that Kevin Love had suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left hand fifth metacarpal, taking an entry pass from Tristan Thompson five minutes into the game.

Things got worse after halftime – and especially in the fourth quarter – as the Pistons turned a two-point game with 5:40 to play into a lopsided victory over a team that had beat them by almost 26 points per over the last three meetings.

The Pistons were playing without Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris, both part of the blockbuster Monday night deal that brought five-time All-Star, Blake Griffin, to Motown. Griffin was not yet in uniform for Stan Van Gundy’s squad.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 21 points, going 9-for-20 from the floor to go with a team-high seven assists, six boards and a block.

Channing Frye led a Cavaliers’ bench that combined for 62 points – notching a season-high 20 points, going 4-of-7 from long-range and 6-of-9 from the floor overall. Dwyane Wade returned from a two-game personal absence and was just as effective – netting 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting, adding eight boards and five assists.

Isaiah Thomas tallied most of his 19 points from the stripe – going 12-of-13 from the free throw line but just 3-of-10 from the floor. JR Smith also came back to earth after a pair of double-digit outings, going 2-of-10 from the field for four points.

Kyle Korver rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 10 points and Tristan Thompson led Cleveland with 10 rebounds.

Each of Detroit’s five starters tallied at least 19 points -- led by Stanley Johnson, who doubled-up with 26 points and 10 boards. Andre Drummond, recently selected to the All-Star squad, had a monster night with 21 points, 22 boards, seven assists, three steals and three blocked shots.

LeBron James


Balanced scoring attack led by LBJ not enough in Motown.

As a team, the Pistons shot 53 percent from the floor, handed out 30 helpers and outscored Cleveland, 27-6, on the break.

Turning Point -- Big picture: the turning point was the Cavaliers finding out about Kevin Love’s injury at intermission and playing a listless second stanza. Smaller picture: the second half of the fourth quarter.

Jae Crowder’s triple cut Detroit’s lead to just a deuce – 106-104 – with 5:40 to play. But Reggie Bullock bookended two Ish Smith free throws with back-to-back bombs, keying a quick 10-0 run that put Detroit in the driver’s seat with 3:31 remaining.

The Cavs didn’t get within single figures again the rest of the way.

By the Numbers13.7, .762 … Dwyane Wade’s scoring average and shooting percentage over his last three games.

QuotableChanning Frye, on Kevin Love’s injury and the team moving forward

”It’s a tough break. He’s been playing some damn good basketball for us. The guy’s just been a workhorse for us and I think you can’t ask one guy to go average what he’s averaging, so all of us have to step our game up.”

Up Next -- The good news is the Cavaliers have another game on Wednesday night at The Q, but it won’t be an easy test, with the feisty Heat rolling in on a two-game win streak. It’s another home test after that – welcoming in James Harden and the high-octane Rockets on Saturday night. It’s back on the road next Tuesday, traveling to Orlando for a meeting with the Magic, followed by the final home game before the All-Star Break – taking on Minnesota the next night.

Calls of the Game

#CavsPistons Postgame: LeBron James - January 30, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.

Cavs at Pistons - January 30, 2018

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#CavsPistons Postgame: LeBron James - January 30, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.
Jan 31, 2018  |  02:12

#CavsPistons Postgame: Channing Frye - January 30, 2018

Cavaliers forward Channing Frye spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.
Jan 30, 2018  |  01:51

#CavsPistons Postgame: Isaiah Thomas - January 30, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.
Jan 30, 2018  |  04:34

#CavsPistons Postgame: Coach Lue - January 30, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.
Jan 30, 2018  |  04:13

GAME RECAP: Pistons 125, Cavaliers 114

Andre Drummond racks up 21 points and 22 rebounds as the Pistons defeat the Thunder 125-114.
Jan 30, 2018  |  02:34

LBJ Throws the Hammer Down

Isaiah Thomas throws the pocket pass to LeBron James for the tomahawk finish.
Jan 30, 2018  |  00:08

DWade with the Tough And-One

Dwyane Wade gets to the bucket and gets the layup to fall, plus the foul.
Jan 30, 2018  |  00:13

LBJ Goes Behind-the-Back to T.T.

LeBron James somehow spots Tristan Thompson for the behind-the-back dime and dunk.
Jan 30, 2018  |  00:09

Frye Finishes Through Contact

Channing Frye gets strong in the paint and muscles home the hook shot, plus the foul.
Jan 30, 2018  |  00:10

Frye with the Hoop and the Harm

Channing Frye takes it strong to the hole and gets the bucket, plus the foul, in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Jan 30, 2018  |  00:26

LBJ with the Left-Hand Slam

LeBron James darts past the Pistons defense and throws the hammer down with the left.
Jan 30, 2018  |  00:08

Featured Highlight: LBJ Rocks the Rim

Dwyane Wade finds a streaking LeBron James who soars through the lane for the monster slam.
Jan 30, 2018  |  00:11

#CavsPistons Shootaround: LeBron James - January 30, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Tuesday's shootaround at Little Caesars Arena.
Jan 30, 2018  |  03:32

#CavsPistons Shootaround: Dwyane Wade - January 30, 2018

Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade spoke with the media prior to Tuesday's shootaround at Little Caesars Arena.
Jan 30, 2018  |  02:24

#CavsPistons Shootaround: Coach Lue - January 30, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Tuesday's shootaround at Little Caesars Arena.
Jan 30, 2018  |  04:38