The first quarter started out as a relatively even tussle, as both teams traded baskets on the way to a 9-9 stalemate. From then on though, the Pistons put their foot on the gas and raced out to a 38-27 advantage, fueled by a big quarter from Andre Drummond, who the Cavaliers, predictably, could not stop on the interior. Drummond made his money running to the rim, finishing with a couple of nice lobs, as well as nailing all his free throws.
Things evened back up slightly in the second quarter as the Cavs found some rhythm through Kyle Korver, Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood. Collin Sexton continued his strong start and appears to be growing more comfortable with his role in this team, finding roll men and hitting open shots. The lead got trimmed to as low as 14 after the Pistons had an initial spurt to go up 21, but a good finish to the quarter saw Detroit enter halftime up 66-46.
Blake Griffin would prove to be the main catalyst, as he entered the half with 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a block, dishing to wide open shooters at will, with both Reggies proving the beneficiary of his presence inside.
Reggie Bullock was the storyline of the third quarter, hitting everything he tried, including a banked in three pointer while being fouled down low by Rodney Hood. Jackson and Glenn Robinson III also made triples as the lead stretched all the way out to 30 briefly.
The Cavaliers are the worst defensive team in the league, and the Pistons were able to generate looks with relative ease, slinging the ball around to find the open man consistently, and the shooters have been doing their jobs. The Pistons were 11-28 (39.3 percent) from three, and had racked up 20 assists on their way to a 24 point lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Cavs ended the quarter on a 6-0 run, and the fourth quarter was, to put it politely for the Pistons, an absolute shitshow. An extended 18-2 run saw what was a 30 point lead whittled all the way down to 14 in the space of about 10 minutes of game time, and the Pistons never established any rhythm in the fourth quarter, eventually holding on to win by 11 points, 113-102.
Against most other teams in the league, a stretch like that is guaranteed to hand you an L. Luckily, tonight, it came against the worst team in the Association.
Pistons 113 (Drummond 23 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, three blocks; Griffin 21 points, 12 rebounds, five assits; Bullock 21 points, four assists)
Cavaliers 102 (Sexton 18 points, four assists; Clarkson 16 points, four rebounds, four assists)
The Pistons shot 13-38 from three point range, marking the 6th game in a row that the Pistons have hit 10+ threes, tying the longest streak in franchise history. The Pistons shot 41-89 (46.6%) overall, as well as 18-19 from the free throw line. They also outrebounded the Cavs 50-36, and dished 26 assists to the Cavaliers 16.
Next up, a scheduling kink as the Pistons finally face a Western Conference foe, the Houston Rockets, in a home and home series on Wednesday in Houston, before the home leg on Friday in Detroit.