The Cleveland Cavaliers ‘Big 3’ of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love took it upon themselves to avenge their loss to the division rival Detroit Pistons last November. All three combined to score 77 of Cleveland 114 points as the Cavaliers split the season series in the Motor City by beating the Pistons 114-106.
Irving and Love took out a little frustration from being snubbed for next months All-Star game on the boys from the Motown. Love finished with a game high 29 points including five of seven from three point territory. Irving finished with 28 points. The Cavaliers have now won three in a row since falling in head coach Tyronn Lue’s head coaching debut last Saturday against the Chicago Bulls.
James finished with 20 points to pass the 26,000 points mark for his career. At 31, James is the youngest player in NBA history to reach 26,000 career points. Tristan Thompson started at center for the second straight game for Lue and responded with another double double. Thompson had eleven points and a game high 14 rebounds. Thompson out rebounded Pistons all-star center Andre Drummond 14 to eight. J.R. Smith had a rare off night shooting the basketball during the recent stretch of games. Smith was just two of ten from the field for six points. Both of Smith’s field goal makes were from behind the three point arc.
Despite coming off the bench, Timofey Mozgov had a very productive game. Mozgov lead the Cavaliers bench with 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds in just 19 minutes of playing time. Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert were the only other members of the bench bunch to score on Friday night. Dellavedova had five, Shumpert had three on a three point shot.
The Cavaliers won the game at the free throw line and on the glass. Less than week after posting a nine for 22 effort from the charity stripe, the Cavaliers shot 27 of 29 for 93 percent from the foul line on Friday. Detroit only attempted 26 free throws and made just 19. The Cavaliers out rebounded the Pistons 47-39.
All five Pistons starters scored in double figures lead by Drummond with 20 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 19 points. Reggie Jackson scored 15 points. Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilyasova had 14 and eleven points respectively.
Cleveland has now won nine of their last ten games away from Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers return home for another tough test in a back to back situation. The San Antonio Spurs are waiting for the wine and gold. The game will air nationally on ABC at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night. The Cavaliers lost to the Spurs in San Antonio 99-95 two weeks ago.