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Cavs Notes

Cavaliers come up short in all phases in loss to Pistons

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    The Cavaliers' Marquese Chriss tries to dunk on the Pistons' Andre Drummond in the first half Saturday in Cleveland.

    AP

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CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers had some really “big” problems Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena, and not just because they were without Kevin Love, Ante Zizic and Tristan Thompson.

Cleveland didn’t show up at all, trailing by 19 after the first period, by 33 at halftime and by 39 in the third quarter en route to an embarrassing 129-93 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

Detroit (30-31), which began the day seventh in the Eastern Conference, won for the eighth time in 10 games, while the Cavs (15-48) looked nothing like the team that had won four out of six and six of its last 12.

“They came out and punched us right in the mouth early,” Cleveland center Larry Nance Jr. said.

It certainly didn’t help the cause that the Cavs elected to rest Love, who missed 50 games due to surgery on his left foot. Not wanting their All-Star to play in back-to-back games, the powers that be elected to have Love in action tonight when Cleveland hosts Orlando.

Add the fact that Thompson missed his 18th straight game due to left foot soreness, while Ante Zizic was in the league’s concussion protocol program, and the Cavs’ only healthy big men were Nance and Marquese Chriss, who started, and soon-to-be-retired Channing Frye, who played for the 30th time in 63 games this season.

“Definitely, the energy was the most important thing we were missing tonight,” Cleveland small forward Cedi Osman said. “Yeah, we didn’t have ‘Big Z’ or Kevin, but that can’t be an excuse.”

After one period, the Cavs were on pace to lose 168-92. At halftime, the projection was 142-76. For the math challenged, that means the Pistons led 42-23 after one and 71-38 at intermission.

It all came ridiculously easy, too, as Detroit shot .587 from the field in the first half and made nine 3-pointers while outrebounding the disinterested Cavs 26-10.

Cleveland bricked away to the tune of 11-for-42 and made more 3-pointers (six) than shots inside the arc (five) over the first two periods. The starting five went 6-for-29, led, for lack of a better word, by Collin Sexton (0-for-7), Osman (1-for-6) and Chriss (1-for-6).

“They got whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted,” Nance said of the Pistons.

Detroit quickly went up by 35 in the second half, which would have invoked a running clock in an Ohio high school tournament game, but fans at The Q weren’t so fortunate.

The bright spot for the Cavs? It probably came when two points were taken away from the Pistons at halftime, though hearing the final buzzer sound would be a close second.

“There was a lot of finger-pointing,” Nance said. “I thought we took a step back.”

Luke Kennard made his first six 3-point attempts and led the Pistons with 26 points, while point guard Reggie Jackson had 24 points on 9-for-11 shooting, mostly against Sexton’s matador defense.

Blake Griffin (14 points, seven rebounds, nine assists), Wayne Ellington (15 points) and Andre Drummond (13 points, 10 rebounds) also scored in double figures for Detroit.

“It was just a tough night,” Osman said. “We didn’t contest shots. It was all easy shots.”

Sexton, who didn’t have an assist in 35 minutes, was the only Cleveland player to score more than 11 points, but it took some serious garbage time for him to get to 16 on a night when he shot 3-for-13 from the floor.

As a team, the Cavs finished 13-for-34 on 3-pointers, but made just 14 of 35 shots from inside the arc.

“We have to be better decision-makers,” Cleveland coach Larry Drew said. “Not just (Sexton), all our guys.”

Contact Rick Noland at rnoland@medina-gazette.com and follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

Pistons 129, Cavs 93

DETROIT (129): Brown 1-5 2-2 4, Griffin 6-10 0-0 14, Drummond 3-5 7-8 13, Jackson 9-11 2-2 24, Ellington 5-9 0-0 15, Mykhailiuk 1-2 0-0 3, Maker 2-3 1-2 5, Pachulia 0-2 0-0 0, I.Smith 5-9 1-1 11, Galloway 2-8 2-2 8, Kennard 10-15 0-0 26, Robinson III 3-7 0-0 6, Thomas 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 47-87 15-17 129.

CLEVELAND (93): Osman 3-9 2-2 10, Chriss 2-8 3-4 9, Nance Jr. 4-7 1-2 11, Sexton 3-13 10-13 16, Knight 3-8 1-2 10, Frye 3-6 0-0 8, Dellavedova 0-3 2-2 2, Clarkson 4-13 3-3 11, Stauskas 2-5 4-4 8, Nwaba 3-7 0-0 8. Totals 27-79 26-32 93.

Detroit      42 29 29 29 — 129
Cleveland 23 15 34 21 — 93

3-Point Goals—Detroit 20-37 (Kennard 6-7, Ellington 5-8, Jackson 4-4, Griffin 2-4, Galloway 2-6, Mykhailiuk 1-1, Maker 0-1, I.Smith 0-2, Brown 0-2, Robinson III 0-2), Cleveland 13-34 (Knight 3-4, Nwaba 2-3, Nance Jr. 2-4, Osman 2-4, Frye 2-5, Chriss 2-5, Stauskas 0-1, Dellavedova 0-2, Clarkson 0-3, Sexton 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Detroit 51 (Drummond 10), Cleveland 33 (Nance Jr., Nwaba 5). Assists—Detroit 27 (Griffin 9), Cleveland 15 (Clarkson, Nance Jr. 3). Total Fouls—Detroit 24, Cleveland 19. Technicals—Detroit coach Pistons (Defensive three second). A—19,432 (20,562).



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