With another back-to-back weekend for the Cleveland Cavaliers, they are just trying to get something going. Without the two starting guards, the Cavaliers struggled in the first game of the weekend, falling 91-73 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and hoped for a better performance against the Detroit Pistons.
The Cavaliers came out ready to play and did get the better performance they were looking for. They stayed competitive in the first quarter and took a 52-49 lead into the locker room, shooting 46.8% from the field. The third quarter got off to a good start with a 10-0 run that gave them a 62-54 lead.
Then, in typical fashion, things began to fall apart, as Cleveland allowed the Pistons to go on a 22-8 run to take the lead and never look back. It wound up in a 104-97 loss for the Cavaliers, who really let a winnable game at home slip away.
Detroit was sparked by second-year point guard Brandon Knight, who scored 23 of his career-high 30 points in the second half. Knight enjoys playing against Cleveland, whom he had scored his previous career-high against and is averaging 25 points in the last three meetings.
While Knights scoring output is not surprising, as the Cavaliers have struggled defending the opponents' guards all year, his seven rebounds and five assists were, as he was able to do other things to help his team get the victory. Tayshaun Prince added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Greg Monroe scored 11 and Jason Maxiell had 10.
Cleveland was led by Jeremy Pargo, who played well and ended the game with 24 points and four assists. Anderson Varejao got back on track, after not having a double-double against the Timberwolves. He finished the night with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists. Alonzo Gee also had 12 points and nine rebounds, but there was not enough there, especially defensively, to closeout the game at home.
The Pistons shot 46.7% from the field and 60% from three-point range, while the Cavaliers only managed 42.9% from the court and 22.2% from three.
It continues to be one thing or another for Cleveland on any given night. They are playing without their top two ball handlers, yet managed to have a solid night offensively, with the 97 points. The issue on this night was defense, giving up 104 after only allowing opponents to average just over 91 points over the last three games.
While there have been games where the Cavaliers have had it all go their way on the same night, the win over the Los Angeles Clippers comes to mind, it has not been consistent at all. The coaching staff will want to try and make that happen, so when the two young guards, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, return things can start to turn around. They will look to do so Tuesday, as the disappointing Los Angeles Lakers come to town.Tags: Alonzo Gee, Anderson Varejao, Basketball, Brandon Knight, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Dion Waiters, Greg Monroe, Jason Maxiell, Jeremy Pargo, Kyrie Irving, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, Tayshaun Prince