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Wrap-Up – The Wine and Gold came ready to play in the first quarter of Sunday’s contest against Detroit. The problem turned out to be the next three – as the shorthanded Cavaliers were outscored 86-52 after the opening period – dropping the 103-80 decision to the Pistons on Sunday afternoon at The Q.
Three Cavaliers registered double-doubles in Sunday’s loss. Kevin Love led Cleveland with 20 points, going 9-of-19 from the floor to go with 10 boards and a blocked shot. Tristan Thompson finished 7-of-8 from the field for 18 points, adding a team-high 11 rebounds, including seven off the offensive glass. LeBron James notched 17 points, 10 boards and a team-high seven assists, but he also led both team with seven of the Cavaliers’ 18 turnovers.
The Cavaliers – playing without Anderson Varejeo, lost for the year with an Achilles’ injury, and Kyrie Irving, who missed his second straight game after suffering a knee contusion against Miami – shot just 38 percent from the floor and 17 percent from long-distance. The Pistons, who came to Cleveland with just six wins, shot a gaudy 55 percent from beyond the arc while outrunning the Wine and Gold, 18-8, on the fastbreak.
Brandon Jennings led all scorers with 25 points, going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc to pace six Pistons in double-figures. Andre Drummond was 8-of-12 from the field for 16 points – adding game-highs in rebounds (17) and blocked shots (5).
Turning Point – The Cavaliers looked sharp in the opening quarter – shooting 52 percent from the floor, holding the struggling Pistons to just 35 percent and taking an 11-point lead into the second period. When Kevin Love scored on a layup to start the second, the Cavs took a 15-point edge. But midway through the quarter, Cleveland went cold – going five minutes without scoring – while Detroit began heating up from three-point range. Jennings’ fadeaway jumper gave the Pistons a 44-43 lead with 1:36 remaining the half – and back-to-back treys by Jennings and Caron Butler improved Detroit’s lead to seven.
In the fourth quarter, Detroit went 4-of-5 from long-distance to seal the deal – running their lead to as much as 27 before David Blatt emptied his bench in the closing minutes.
By the Numbers – 10,001 … rebounds that Shawn Marion has grabbed over the course of his 15-year career. He’s one of only four active players to reach 10K and just the eighth player in NBA history 6-7 or under to notch that career number. The Matrix is also one of only four players in league history to accumulate 17,000 points, 10,000 boards, 1,500 steals and 1,000 blocks – joining Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone and Kevin Garnett.
Quotable – LeBron James, on Sunday’s loss at The Q …
”Tonight, no matter who you’re going to play against, I’m going to continue to say, that everyone wants to play us and everyone is going to get up to play us now. Once we start to understand that, we’ll have a better understanding once we go out on the floor.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers have a busy week following Sunday’s matinee. On Tuesday, they travel to the ATL for their third meeting of the season with the Hawks – a team they’ve beaten by 33 and lost to by 32. The following night, they take on the young and talented Bucks on New Year’s Eve at The Q. Cleveland tips off the 2015 calendar year with a trip to Tobacco Road where they’ll take on Lance Stephenson and the Hornets on Friday night. On Sunday, it’s another afternoon affair as the Cavs welcome Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks to Cleveland for a 1 p.m. matchup at The Q.