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Pistons at Cavaliers final score: Cavaliers score 39 in fourth to beat Pistons

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Which team is gunning for the playoffs and which team is the absolute worst in the league?

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Blake Griffin-less Detroit Pistons versus the Kevin Love-less and LeBron James-less (hey, who’s really counting) Cleveland Cavaliers was far more entertaining than most expected. The halftime score saw the Pistons up one, and so did the third quarter final score. The Cavaliers, however, would prevail over the Pistons 126-119 with a wickedly efficient fourth quarter, shooting over 70-percent from the floor. Nik Stauskas (yes, he plays for the Cavs now) was in the zone in the fourth, scoring 15 of his game total of 17 in the frame.

For most of the game perimeter defense (any defense really) was optional. Extremely optional, you could say. Late in the fourth, both defenses keyed in a bit more, but it was Cleveland’s defense that forced Detroit into less-than-desirable shots (ahem, Reggie Jackson over-dribbling was a big part of it, after he was inserted with just over three minutes left after having sat the entire fourth) and it was Cleveland’s offense that got the shots they wanted with crisp, timely ball movement. Most of those clutch shots were from rookie Collin Sexton, who’s having himself a quietly very effective season. Sexton scored 27 on 16 shots, and made five of his six threes.

Wayne Ellington had his highest scoring game as a Piston, scoring 25 points on 15 shots.

Andre Drummond could not be stopped through the first three quarters, but did not quite put his stamp on the game in the fourth. Still, lets give Andre his due. He scored 21, grabbed 21 rebounds and assisted on five buckets. He passed Bob Lanier for the most 15 and 15 games in a single season by a Detroit Piston:

Former friend of the program Brandon Knight (who is just 27 years old, but it seems he’s 37) had no problems slicing up Detroit’s defense. He picked his spots, scoring 16 on 13 shots. David Nwaba was able to get his own shot in the lane with floaters and the like, scoring 13 on just six shots. Second-year wing Cedi Osman has been shooting the ball well in recent games, and tonight was no different, as he scored 21 on 14 shots and dished out six assists.

Luke Kennard seems to be back in full-blown struggle mode in recent games. Tonight Luke was just 2-for-9. Luke didn’t seem hesitant to shoot the rock, but his shot just seemed off. Luke flat stunk tonight — he’s got to play better in order for this team to hold on to the sixth spot in the conference.

The Pistons will head out west for four games starting Thursday, with a date with the Western conference basement-dwelling Phoenix Suns.