After playing six of their first seven games this month away from home – and getting off to a 2-5 mark in March – the Wine and Gold needed a good old-fashioned laugher in their own gym to clean out the pipes.
They got one, thumping the Pistons by 32 points – 128-96 – on Tuesday night at The Q.
There wasn’t much drama to Tuesday’s victory. After taking a small, brief lead in the opening minutes of the game, the Cavaliers simply steamrolled Detroit from there – drilling their first 10 triples, scoring 44 points and taking an 18-point edge after one quarter. They never looked back from there.
The night began with the newest Cavalier, Larry Sanders, meeting the media about 90 minutes before tip-off. Sanders hadn’t played in the NBA in two years and will work himself back into basketball shape with the Canton Charge for the time being.
But with the Wine and Gold up over 30 points in the game’s closing moments, Tyronn Lue decided to give the lithe big man a quick run. Sanders took the floor to a robust ovation, playing the final two minutes of Tuesday’s blowout.
Among the Cavalier regulars, both Kyrie Irving and LeBron James each extended their string of stellar performances.
Irving led both teams with 26 points – prolonging his streak of 20-point performances to a career-high 16 straight games – finishing 9-of-14 from the floor and 4-of-4 from long-range, adding six helpers in the win.
LeBron James tallied his third triple-double in the last four games — recording 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting to go with 12 assists and 11 boards. Monday’s trifecta marks the 10th of the season for James, 52nd of his future Hall of Fame career.
James’ 12 assists matched the number of combined helpers posted by Detroit’s starting five.
Iman Shumpert added a season-high 18 points – going 8-for-13 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from long-distance.
Shump was one of six Cavaliers to hit at least two three-pointers on Tuesday. Overall, the Wine and Gold finished 19-of-30 from beyond the arc. Cleveland’s reserves were a combined 9-for-14 from deep.
Overall, the Cavaliers shot a season-best 60 percent from the floor, with their 74-point first half also setting high-water mark. Overall, the Wine and Gold hit 23 of their first 26 field goal attempts.
Richard Jefferson posted his second straight 16-point performance – going 4-for-7 from deep, adding two boards and a pair of steals.
Deron Williams posted a Cavalier-high with 13 points – canning all six shots he attempted from the floor. Derrick Williams came off the bench to net 13 points of his own – going 3-of-5 from long-range in 21 minutes of action. And J.R. Smith, who’s rapidly rounding back into form, added a dozen points in the win – hitting three of his four three-point attempts, adding five boards and a steal.
Cleveland was just as sharp on the defensive end – holding Detroit to 37 percent shooting, including 21 percent (4-of-19) from downtown.
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