AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Kevin Love scored 19 of his 29 points in the first half, Kyrie Irving had 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to another high-scoring win, 114-106 over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
The Cavaliers have won three straight since losing to Chicago in Tyronn Lue’s first game as Cleveland’s coach. Lue wants the Cavs to pick up the pace offensively, and they seem to be responding. Cleveland has scored at least 114 points in each of the past three games.
LeBron James had 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, shrugging off a rare missed dunk in the third quarter. He surpassed the 26,000-point mark during that period, becoming the youngest player to do so at 31 years, 30 days.
Andre Drummond had 20 points and eight rebounds for Detroit.
Cleveland has the best record in the Eastern Conference at 33-12, but it’s hardly been a smooth ride of late for the defending conference champions. Lue took over when coach David Blatt was fired, and Cleveland ended up with only one player (James) picked for the All-Star team.
Love was left out when the All-Star reserves were announced Thursday, but put up his second-highest scoring total of the season a night later.
James was one point shy of 26,000 when he breezed in on a breakaway in the third. As he went up for a dunk, the ball came loose from his right hand, and by the time he reached up with his left, he’d lost control.
James reached the milestone on a free throw with 4:04 left in the quarter.
The Cavs led 66-58 at halftime and scored the first seven points of the third. It was 96-78 after three, and when the Pistons cut the lead to nine in the fourth, Detroit’s Reggie Jackson missed a 3-pointer and Cleveland was able to stay comfortably ahead.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 19 points for the Pistons and roused the crowd a bit in the second quarter when he blocked James’ 3-point attempt from behind.
Cavaliers: Cleveland made 27 of 29 free throws.
Pistons: Detroit shot 7 of 23 from 3-point range.
Cavaliers: Host San Antonio on Saturday night.
Pistons: Play at Toronto on Saturday night.