The Detroit Pistons didn't play like a team on the road against the Eastern Conference's best team on the back end of a back-to-back. Just a little over 24 hours after Anthony Davis [redacted] and mere hours after their execs had to rescind one of their two trade deadline moves, six Pistons and three others that saw the floor took down the Cleveland Cavaliers, 96-88, to end their five game losing streak.
Yes, only six Pistons scored buckets, all finishing in double figures, and one (Stanley Johnson) had to go to the locker room with a shoulder injury midway into the fourth quarter. That's both an indictment on how bad the bench is and a testament to just how good of a win this is.
Up seven at the half, the Pistons extended their lead in the third quarter to as many as 18. The Cavs made a couple runs, one to end the third and another with about five minutes left in the fourth, but the Pistons responded each time.
The nail in the coffin came with just under two minutes left in the game when KCP collapsed on the lane to strip a driving LeBron James (5-for-18 shooting, 6 turnovers). KCP took from the coast to the rack on the other end for a layup to give the Pistons a 10-point lead after a clutch Reggie Jackson floater made it eight. Jackson sealed the game with late free throws.
The Cavs shot 54 percent in the first half, but they had 12 turnovers and the Pistons had a 9-2 advantage on second-chance points. The Pistons put the clamps down in the second half, holding the Cavs to just 39 points over the final 24 minutes.
Jackson finished with a team-high 23 for the Pistons. KCP had 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Drummond had 16 & 15, and hit 57 percent of his freebies.
Pistons return to action on Wednesday at home against the Philly 76ers, who they kind of screwed in that voided trade.
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