Having evenly split their first two match-ups of the season, the Detroit Pistons defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night 96-88 to put them up two games to one in the series. While the Cavs remain 3.5 games ahead of the second place Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference, the Pistons are still two games out of eight place, behind the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers were hoping to build on a five-game winning streak, including a four-game winning streak at Quicken Loans Arena. Coming off of a big 23-point win in Oklahoma City, dropping a home game to the struggling Pistons by eight points is especially disappointing.
Facing a situation exactly opposite of the Cavs, Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons came in to Cleveland hoping to end their five-game losing streak. After dropping a close one to the New Orleans Pelicans the night before at home, the Pistons will try to build on this momentum, hoping to catch teams like Chicago and Charlotte before the NBA Post-Season.
As verified by ESPN, Kyrie Irving lead both teams in scoring during this losing effort with 30 points. He also added 5 rebounds while going 3 for 7 from long-distance. Kevin Love clocked in with 24 points and 7 rebounds. Love also went 3 for 7 from beyond the arch. LeBron James had one of his weakest performances of the season, scoring just 12 points on 28% shooting. King James also lead the Cavs with 6 turnovers and 8 rebounds.
For the Pistons, Drummond marked a double-double with 16 points and 15 boards. Reggie Jackson lead Detroit in scoring with 23 points, which included going 3 for 5 from the three-point line. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tobias Harris both added 14 points.
In his first game since being moved from the Orlando Magic to the Cleveland Cavaliers via Thursday’s three-team trade, Channing Frye logged just over 9 minutes of game time, registering 2 points, 1 assist and 4 rebounds. He was also responsible for 2 fouls, 1 turnover and two missed three-pointers.
Having been waived by the Trailblazers after being dealt to Portland in the aforementioned trade, Anderson Varejao was of interest to both of the top two teams in the Western Conference, but ended up signing with the Golden State Warriors instead of the San Antonio Spurs. Varejao did not play in Golden State’s Monday night game against the Atlanta Hawks.
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Detroit’s next game is on Wednesday at the Palace of Auburn Hills as the Pistons host the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers dropped both of the previous games against Detroit, as they have the worst record in the NBA at 8-47.
Cleveland is at home again for their next game as the Cavaliers host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, February 24. That game will be played at Quicken Loans Arena and begins at 7 p.m ET/6 p.m central. Currently at seventh place in the Eastern Conference, Charlotte hosted both of the previous games against Cleveland.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will have a chance to even up the series with the Detroit Pistons for the 2015-16 NBA Season as the fourth and final match-up between the teams takes place in Cleveland, again, marking the end of the regular season for both teams.
[Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]