Game Recap: Cavs at Pistons

*** The Pistons put up a good fight in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late against a stingy Cavaliers team that built up a 26-point lead – powered by Darius Garland’s monster second quarter – and held on for the 110-100 win on Friday night in Motown. Garland scored 18 of his 29 points in the second period and Cleveland held Detroit to 37 percent shooting on the night, sweeping the season series for the second straight year. 

*** Darius Garland was unconscious from long-range in the second quarter on Friday night – going 6-for-7 from deep for 18 points. On the night overall, Garland was 8-of-12 from three-point range, 9-of-21 overall, adding five boards, four assists and a steal. The eight triples marked the second-highest mark of his career (drilling 10 bombs in a 51-point outburst against Minnesota last year). Garland’s sixth triple of the second quarter put Cleveland up 26.

*** Evan Mobley had another outstanding all-around game on both ends on Friday – finishing with 22 points, a game-high 17 boards, seven assists, two steals and a pair of blocks, going 7-for-13 from the floor and 8-of-11 from the stripe in the win. The last Cavs player to reach those totals across the board was LeBron James in 2008. Friday marked Mobley’s 19th double-double of the season and the second time in his last three outings with seven assists.

*** Mobley on the Cavs team effort on Friday. “We made a few mistakes, had a few turnovers, missed a few shots down the stretch. But we built up a big enough lead that we were able to hold on and the last few minutes. We stopped them when we needed to, and we got the win.”

*** One game after getting hammered on the boards in Chicago, the Cavs duo of Mobley and Jarrett Allen combined for 32 of Cleveland’s 53 rebounds. Allen added nine points, a pair of assists, a steal and a block to his 15-rebound total. 

*** The Cavaliers were without Donovan Mitchell (left knee soreness) and Caris LeVert (right elbow sprain) on Friday night. 

*** Isaac Okoro jumped into the starting lineup with Mitchell out, finishing with 12 points, going 4-of-9 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from deep (while helping to hold Cade Cunningham to 6-of-19 shooting). Okoro is now shooting exactly .500 percent from the floor on the year, .401 from long-range. The 4th-year man from Auburn also blocked a shot on Friday night, giving him 100 for his young career.

*** The absences of LeVert and Mitchell also opened the door for Sam Merrill, who finished with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from long-range, adding three boards and an assist in 25 minutes off the bench. For Merrill, who hadn’t played in either of the last two games, Friday was the ninth time that he drilled at least four triples off the bench. 

*** Merrill, on his Friday night opportunity. “(My teammates) have all have confidence in me that I can help the team, and I mean I'm sick of the ‘stay-ready’ cliche, but it really is a thing and that's what I try and do. It's an everyday thing, my preparation and getting my work in on the floor and the weight room. But also understanding we've got a lot of really good players, so just try and be the best I can whenever the opportunities come.”

*** The Cavaliers have now won eight of their last 10 road games, are 22-8 against the Central Division over the last two seasons and took their ninth straight decision over the Pistons – the longest head-to-head win streak in the history of these two franchises. 

*** After holding off Detroit on Friday, the Cavaliers come home for three of the next four – and they’re three huge matchups, with the Knicks rolling in on Sunday followed by a visit from the (Eastern Conference-leading) Celtics on Tuesday and a meeting with the (Western Conference-leading) Timberwolves on Friday. In between the busy slate of home games, Cleveland travels to Atlanta for a Wednesday night battle with the Hawks.