Remember when you thought the Cleveland Cavaliers might be getting on a roll? The last two games, including the 115-92 stomping at the hand of the Detroit Pistons on Monday at home may have derailed those thoughts.
After going on a three-game winning streak, the Cavaliers had two tough losses to two of the NBA's top teams. They responded with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, but even that required overtime. Now two-straight bad losses and Cleveland is right back where they were early in December.
The Pistons have been a good road team this season, winning six of their last seven games away from home, but are only two and a half games ahead of Cleveland in the standings. They have now won seven straight over the Cavs.
Josh Smith led all scorers with 25 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Jennings added 21 of his own and also dished out 13 assists.
Seven Pistons scored in double digits, as the Cavaliers had trouble on the defensive end all night.
Andre Drummond and reserve guard Rodney Stuckey scored 14 points, while Drummond also had 11 rebounds. Luigi Datome came off the bench for 13 points and Greg Monroe scored 11 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double.
On top of being poor defensively – allowing Detroit to shoot just under 48% on the night – Cleveland was inefficient and ineffective on the offensive end. They shot 38% from the floor and 28% from three-point range.
Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson were efficient, but were about the only players to be. Irving scored 21 points, had seven rebounds, and shot 50% from the floor. Thompson had 17 points and six rebounds and was 6-for-10 on the night.
Tyler Zeller and Matthew Dellavedova combined for 10-for-13, but everyone else struggled shooting.
Andrew Bynum was held scoreless for the first time since April 1, 2012. He shot 0-for-11 from the field and only had six rebounds. The combination of Drummond and Monroe were too much for Bynum to handle, showing he is still not back to the Bynum of old.
The Pistons led by as many as 28 points in the route. Cleveland cut the lead to down to 10 with just over eight and a half minutes left in the third, but Detroit ended the quarter on a 29-14 run to put the game out of reach. The only quarter the Cavaliers won was the fourth and they did not do enough to make this game appear close.
The Cavs will be off through Christmas and will take to the court again against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night.
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