AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sporting Alert – Kevin Love scored 29 points and Kyrie Irving added 28, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Detroit Pistons 114-106 in the NBA at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit on Friday night. Box Score
Love, who hit five 3-pointers, also grabbed six rebounds and three assists, while Irving shot 11-of-19 from the floor for the Cavs as new coach Tyronn Lue landed his third-straight win.
They are improved to 3-1 under Lue and many even believe they are playing better basketball.
LeBron James, who became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 26,000 career points on Friday night, flirted with a triple-double on the night after finishing with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and Tristan Thompson ended with 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers (33-12) who shot 47 percent from the floor.
“We always talk about, it starts and ends with the `Big Three,’ and those two guys got it done,” James said. “I filled in, did what I needed to do to help us win.”
Andre Drummond had 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for Detroit, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 19 points and seven boards for the Pistons (25-22) who had won their previous two games.
Reggie Jackson added 15 points and six assists, Stanley Johnson chipped in with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds off the bench and Marcus Morris scored 14 points in the defeat for the Pistons.
The Cavaliers led 66-58 at halftime and 96-78 heading into the fourth quarter, but were outscored 28-18 in the final quarter.
“They played really, really well,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “So, it’s not all on us. I mean, they were terrific.”
Detroit shot just 7-of-23 from 3-point range, but outscored the Cavaliers in points in the paint — 48-36 and fast break points, 13-11.
Up next for Cleveland is a home clash against Western Conference powerhouses San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, while the Pistons play at the Toronto Raptors on the same night.