Pistons rally for 104-99 win over Cavs despite James’ 30

1 Comment

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Andre Drummond had 25 points and 18 rebounds and made some crucial free throws when he was fouled intentionally, helping the Detroit Pistons rally to a 104-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.

LeBron James scored 23 of his 30 points in the first half, but the Pistons double-teamed him on a couple of big possessions down the stretch and Cleveland couldn’t convert. The Cavs lost their second straight after winning eight in a row.

Drummond’s free throw with 2:07 left gave the Pistons a 98-97 advantage, and Detroit was able to hold on.

It was 102-99 with 13.8 seconds remaining after Reggie Jackson made two free throws for the Pistons. J.R. Smith then missed a contested 3-pointer from near the top of the key.

Detroit snapped a four-game losing streak despite giving up the first nine points of the second half. Cleveland led 65-55 after that run, but the Pistons were able to stay within striking distance.

The Cavs led 97-93 when they decided to start intentionally fouling Drummond, who came in shooting 40 percent from the line. He made two free throws with 2:58 remaining, and after the Pistons tied it on a basket by Jackson, Cleveland fouled Drummond again. This time he made one of two free throws.

James passed out of a double team to Kevin Love, who missed from the corner, but the Pistons turned the ball over. Then James, double-teamed again, threw the ball away with 48.8 seconds remaining.

Jackson missed a floater, but Cleveland’s Timofey Mozgov missed from the baseline and Cleveland had to foul. Jackson made two free throws with 21.3 seconds remaining.

James answered with a driving layup, but Jackson was fouled again and pushed the lead back to three.

Love scored 19 points, and Smith and Mo Williams had 15 each for Cleveland, which is still without injured star Kyrie Irving.

Jackson had 23 points and 12 assists for Detroit, and Ersan Ilyasova added 20 points.


Cavaliers: James scored at least 30 points for the fourth straight game. In the first quarter, he passed Jerry West to take over 19th place on the NBA’s career scoring list.

Pistons: Drummond has had a double-double in all 11 games this season. … Jackson rebounded after a season-low nine points in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.