The Pistons clearly didn't understand what it meant to be involved in a tankoff and went monk on the Cavs and killed them dead on Tuesday night by 39, 116-77. The Pistons led by 50 -- yes, FIFTY! -- after the third quarter before giving the starters the rest of the night off.
That third quarter was capped off by Greg Monroe running the floor and feeding Brandon Knight for a DUNK at the buzzer. Knight's night would be over with a career high 28 points (11-for-12 shooting) and a game-high seven dishes. Monroe had his 29th double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
If you thought the Pistons might be strategizing some implicit tanking these last games of the season by implementing some different rotations, they sent a pretty loud message by playing the regulars for three quarters when the game was already well in-hand. With five games left, the Pistons are in the No. 9 spot in terms of lottery odds and, as MFMP noted in the preview, could fall to No. 10, as the Jose Barea led Timberwolves don't look like they'll be doing anymore winning this year.
- Brandon Knight's 11-for-12 game obviously betters the 10-for-13 he had in the 2nd game of the season against the Cavs. Against the Cavs this year, Knight shot 36-for-52 (69%) and averaged 23 points and 5.25 assists. In his last four games, he's averaging nearly 22 points (66% shooting) and 7.25 assists.
- Via NBA.com Game Story:
- Charlie Villanueva saw over 22 minutes and had 10 points and eight rebounds. He also had a block and a steal.
- Largest win, least watched: With playoff Red Wings hockey and the Tigers on at the same time, this game was not on local TV and the announced attendance was under 12,000.
- The big question: Where was Vernon Macklin? I don't know why he couldn't have played some in this game, too, but I'm with The Boourns on the explanation. I think we'll see a decent amount of Macklin on Wednesday night. I hope. I'll be at the game... with Rhino Poop signs if he doesn't play.
- I would like to see Ben Wallace play live one more time before he retires, though, so I do hope he traveled and plays some minutes. He blocked three shots and had a steal in just over 14 minutes against the Cavs.
- Tweet of the Game:
- Flores went on to say that the last time a team led by 50 after three quarters was ... January 2011 when the Lakers led these Cavs by 51.
- Antawn Jamison's minus-47 is the worst in the NBA this season.
- The Pistons are 19-18 since starting 4-20.
- Box Score
Roll Call: WaveOcean, W. Stones, bugman222, tads, The Boourns, Kruza, garrettelliott, MSUDersh, Packey, Mike Payne, grantlp13, Shinons*, curlyfries, Trout Jefferson, SpursfanSteve, V., halfbackattack33, JoeDip, -PS-, Rban, frankiedog, joejoejoe, freywagg, TDP, Toledo Joe, Taiwanese Tora, Rusty_Shackleford
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Name # of Posts WaveOcean 106 Mike Payne 42 Shinons* 41 SpursfanSteve 30 grantlp13 27 garrettelliott 24 Trout Jefferson 23 bugman222 22 Packey 14 tads 12 curlyfries 9 -PS- 8 The Boourns 7 JoeDip 4 TDP 3 Kruza 3 Rusty_Shackleford 2 Rban 2 freywagg 2 halfbackattack33 2 W. Stones 2 Taiwanese Tora 1 Toledo Joe 1 V. 1 joejoejoe 1 MSUDersh 1 frankiedog 1
39. The margin of victory was the Pistons' largest since Dec. 31, 2007, when they defeated Milwaukee by 45, 114-69. Detroit's biggest margin of victory this season prior to Tuesday was 24 against Charlotte on April 12. Until the Cavaliers outscored the Pistons 27-16 in the fourth quarter, Detroit threatened to collect its first 50-point victory since it defeated Boston 118-66 on Jan. 31, 2003. The 39-point loss tied Cleveland's most lopsided defeat this season; it also lost by 39, 114-75, to Chicago on Jan. 20.