The Pistons blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and lost a game they really had no business losing. The Cavs took their first lead of the game with 2:06 left in the game. You might call it a fluke loss.
The collapse is par for the course for the NBA's worst fourth quarter team, though. For the second straight game, the Pistons were outscored by 11 in the final frame, which doesn't bode well when not up 20 heading into it.
The defense down low was absolutely atrocious, allowing Tristan Thompson to shoot 7 for 8 to score 14 of his game-high 25 points and grab nearly half of his overall 15 rebounds in the final quarter. Thompson had two put-back twos on back-to-back possessions in the final minute and a half when Andre Drummond failed to box him out, which actually led to Drummond getting replaced by Greg Monroe, who was to blame for Thompson's scoring up to that point.
Down a point with 51 seconds left in the game, the Pistons played solid defense, forcing the Cavs to run the shot clock all the way down, but Kyrie Irving hit a step-back three at the buzzer to issue the dagger.
What stood out:
Notwithstanding the horrible fourth quarter defense down low, the Pistons shot a putrid 4-for-23 from behind the long line.
Who stood out (excluding Thompson and Irving's fourth):
Brandon Jennings' hot streak wore off and he was the biggest contributor to the offense bogging down in the second half (2-for-9 shooting and 3-for-14 overall).
Greg Monroe also had a terrible second half, only shooting 1 for 5 after starting 6 for 8 and failing repeatedly against his man on the defensive end.
Andre Drummond had 16 points and 17 rebounds, but it's hard to forget his negligence to put his big body on Thompson late in this game.
-- Kyrie Irving was ineffective for much of the game, but he had a strong fourth quarter. He scored 11 of his 23 points in the final quarter and collected all (four) of his assists.
-- Josh Smith played well, IME.
-- The Will Bynum complaints were plenty in the GameThreads, but I didn't have too much to complain about with him.
-- Rodney Stuckey played 12 minutes and produced nil. He left with dizziness.
-- The four-game winning streak for the Cavs is their longest since LeBron left. Of course.
-- Box Score
-- Roll Call wasn't working at the time of publishing. I'll check in on it occasionally and update this post when it is. Sorry to waste all your efforts like the Pistons wasting a game they led for 46 minutes.
-- The Pistons are back at it on Tues., Feb. 18 against Charlotte for the first of a home-and-home back-to-back. Playoff/trade deadline implications!