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Pistons High / Low: James, Irving not enough to top Detroit

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Film don’t lie.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons got off to a slow start - they were down by as much as 15 in the first quarter - but timely buckets down the stretch from Reggie Jackson, alongside a little bit of playmaking (?!?!) from Andre Drummond, gave Detroit a hard fought 106-101 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The win kept Detroit in the playoff picture as the No. 7 seed, a half-game ahead of the Chicago Bulls and a full game ahead of the somehow-still-hot (no pun intended) Miami Heat. With only 17 games left in the season, every win matters. Wins over teams you’re not expected to beat matter even more.

How’d the Pistons close out the Cavs? To the tape!

High

Big play after big play in the final minutes of the fourth quarter preserved the much-needed win.

Andre finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds, with no point or rebound more important than below:

Dre also made the perfect pass at the perfect time:

And finally, Reggie Jackson put the Cavaliers away for good:

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As noted earlier, the first quarter got ugly real fast, but Ish Smith’s nonstop motor kept the Pistons (and crowd) in the game:

Ish kept the Pistons warm in the first half and Reggie took over the quarters three and four:

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An active and engaged Andre Drummond is the best Andre Drummond:

In a completely unrelated note, Tristan Thompson was a non-factor, finishing with four points, four rebounds, and a plus/minus of -22.

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit four of seven threes:

And found Dre for an easy bucket:

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Low

Great look by Tristan Thompson:

Reggie Jackson should’ve been closer to Thompson to deny Irving’s pass.

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Kyrie Irving going iso against Ish Smith went about the way you’d expect:

Kyrie is an absolute magician with the ball.

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Slick screen by J.R. Smith, as he flips the pick at the last second:

That’s about the only thing J.R. did right; in his first game back after extended missed time, Smith shot one for nine with a plus/minus of -28.

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Channing Frye’s third-quarter threes kept Cleveland in the game:

Slow rotations made Stan Van Gundy substitute Aron Baynes for Jon Leuer to check Frye.

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LeBron James as the screen setter is damn near unguardable:

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LBJ got his, as did Kyrie Irving, but by limiting everyone else on the Cavs, the Pistons were able to take the victory.

The New York Knicks are up next.