Stanley Johnson scored a career-high 26 points, and the depleted Detroit Pistons snapped their eight-game losing streak by defeating the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 125-114 on Tuesday.
Johnson also grabbed 10 rebounds, while Detroit’s Andre Drummond piled up 21 points, 22 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocks. Reggie Bullock supplied 22 points, Anthony Tolliver had 20 and Ish Smith added 19 points and seven assists for the Pistons.
Cleveland, which defeated Detroit 121-104 on Sunday, lost All-Star forward Kevin Love in the early going. Love broke a bone in his left hand after Tolliver tried to swipe the ball away from him during the first quarter. Love was officially diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal, and he is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
LeBron James led the Cavs with 21 points, while Channing Frye supplied 20 off the bench. Isaiah Thomas tossed in 19 points and reserve Dwyane Wade contributed 18.
The Pistons were short-handed after making a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Detroit acquired star forward Blake Griffin in the deal, but he was ineligible to play until all players in the deal passed their physicals.
Despite that, Detroit scored a season-high 68 points in the paint while giving up 38. The Pistons also had a 27-6 advantage in fast-break points.
Detroit led most of the first half, but Cleveland pulled ahead 63-59 by halftime.
The Pistons used a 17-3 outburst to gain a 79-68 lead midway through the third. Drummond got it started with a put-back and finished it off with a dunk.
Johnson scored nine third-quarter points while surpassing his previous career high of 22 points. Detroit led 89-84 when the quarter ended.
The Pistons nudged the advantage to nine early in the fourth, but a pair of Kyle Korver 3-pointers cut Detroit’s lead to 103-101. Bullock’s trey with five minutes left pushed the Pistons’ up to 111-104.
Bullock’s transition 3-pointer with 3:30 remaining made it 116-104. Drummond, who was battling an illness, punctuated the Pistons’ surprising win with a dunk.
—Field Level Media