LeBron James racked up 25 points, eight rebounds and 14 assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Detroit Pistons their eighth consecutive loss, 121-104, on Sunday at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.
Kevin Love contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds, J.R. Smith had 15 points and Isaiah Thomas added 14 points and seven assists for the Cavs. Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver tossed in 12 points apiece off the bench as Cleveland gradually pulled away after the game was tied with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.
Tobias Harris and Anthony Tolliver led the Pistons with 20 points apiece. Andre Drummond posted 17 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, while Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson each scored 14 points.
The Cavs shot 50.6 percent from the field, while holding the Pistons to 42.1 shooting. Cleveland outscored Detroit 22-10 at the free throw line.
Cleveland has won two in a row after losing six of its previous seven games. The same teams will square off at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday.
Korver’s 3 with 7:15 remaining gave Cleveland a 98-95 lead. A steal and three-point play by James with 3:46 left made it 108-100. Smith’s 3-pointer off James’ 13th assist nudged Cleveland’s lead to nine at 111-102. Detroit, which was playing the second end of a back-to-back, couldn’t muster another rally.
Behind hot outside shooting, the Pistons led 61-58 at halftime. They hit 10 of 21 3-point attempts, with Tolliver and Bullock combining for eight makes. Tolliver led all scorers with 16 points despite taking just seven shots. Love kept the Cavs close with 14 points.
Neither side led by more than four points in the third quarter until Drummond jammed in an alley-oop from Ish Smith to give Detroit an 85-80 advantage.
Cleveland then finished the quarter with a 10-2 run, which included five points and an assist from Thomas.
Cleveland guard Dwyane Wade missed the game for personal reasons. Detroit guard Avery Bradley sat out because of a groin injury.
--Field Level Media