(photo credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE)
I was ready to be convinced that the Pistons had turned a corner -- some corner toward respectability -- if they went into the Q and beat up on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who beat the Pistons by 16 less than two months ago. I didn't think it would happen, but following a high scoring back-and-forth first quarter, the Pistons locked down in the middle two quarters and took a promising 11-point lead into the fourth.
The Pistons started to lose their poise in the final four and a half minutes of the third quarter, though. After an 8-0 Pistons run gave them their biggest lead of the game (17), the Cavs surprisingly did not call timeout and, instead, Alonzo Gee took a quick three that went all splash-like. The Cavs answered with seven straight and ended the quarter on an 11-5 run, enough momentum to carry over for a fourth quarter comeback.
In the fourth quarter that's when something weird happened -- the Kyrie Irving and Alonzo Gee show, deeeeep in the Q. The two scored the Cavs' first 17 points in the fourth and THIRTY (30!) of the Cavs' 35 in the quarter in which they outscored the Pistons by 12. Gee scored all 16 of his points in gee moments -- the three in response to the Pistons going up 17 in the third and then 13 in the final 12 minutes during the Cavs' comeback.
After the game, Lawrence Frank refused to say the Pistons gave this one away and said Irving and Gee "kicked our tails." I'd have to agree with that latter assessment -- no doubt -- but there were far too many wide open lanes and looks along the way. The Pistons may not have given this game away for a better chance at this guy, but they played very much like the team we were getting accustomed to before this silly leap year month of February came along.
- The NBA is weird, so the Pistons can still finish with 10 wins this month if they take care of the Raptors on the road and then Philly and Charlotte at home.
- Greg Monroe's career high seven assists was wasted, as was his 17th double-double. He finished with 19 points (on 8-for-16 shooting) and 11 rebounds.
- Brandon Knight was the next best Piston with 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting. He also had five rebounds, three assists (two turnovers), and a steal.
- Stuckey had 16 points (on 5-for-13 shooting), five rebounds, five assists (three turnovers), and two blocks.
- Box Score -- WARNING: shield your eyes when looking at that guy on the top line.
- Pistons started the 4th quarter with an 11-point lead and went with Bynum, Gordon, Wilkins, Maxiell and Wallace for the first five minutes or so. When the Cavs pulled within four, Frank went back to Stuckey and -- shortly after -- Knight, Monroe and Prince (the starting lineup). By that time, you could already feel it that the Cavs were going to come all the way back. To be fair, it was Wallace, Wilkins and Max that did so well in the 2nd quarter. To not be fair, WTF?
- Post-game poetry!!! Blame it on the gravity / blame it on the D / blame it on Kyrie Irving / or Alonzo Gee // coach Frank picks Irving and Gee / alas, I can see / more balls for the lottery.
- Ben Gordon's stupid, meaningless three-pointer at the buzzer may or may not have lost me a three-game parlay... Don't gamble [against the Pistons], kids.
- WaveOcean, a Cavs fan, makes 111 posts, but 107 are about his evening's math homework. How many worthy posts does WaveOcean make? (Just messin' with you, Wave)
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Name # of Posts Dragonite 148 WaveOcean 111 Mike Payne 81 Dynamizer 70 The Boourns 53 Kriz 52 grantlp13 27 garrettelliott 24 bluedogg 16 V. 13 Packey 12 -PS- 12 curlyfries 11 He-Man 10 Shinons* 7 Rusty_Shackleford 7 blubomber17 6 Thom not Tom Gores 6 Ra's Head 4 DBB Diablo 4 andyfrombrooklyn 3 Sean_Corp 3 aussiepiston 3 Reno09 2 Gabe F-B 1 soufpaw 1 mcflies 1 TripOG 1 jay_uno 1 Toledo Joe 1 CheerstoLilWayne 1 freywagg 1