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Detroit Pistons crash Cavs!!

Pistons crash Cavs

Dwane Casey didn’t want to be greedy, but he wanted something other than a win at Cleveland. He wanted a stress-free win that put the Pistons in optimal position to bag another one against his former employer at home on Sunday.

The Pistons left no doubt in their 129-93 dismantling of Cleveland, taking a 20-point lead in the first quarter and a 35-point halftime lead. They again pulled within a game of .500 at 30-31 and gave themselves their best chance to get level on Sunday with a team as rested as reasonably possible for a back-to-back challenge against Toronto. “I really liked our approach,” Casey said. “The guys had a professional approach – the way you have to approach the game because this team has been playing at a high level.”

The Cavs, 15-48 with the loss, had won four of six since Kevin Love’s return from injury. But Cleveland sat him against the Pistons – he won’t play any back to backs the rest of the season, but he’ll suit up on Sunday when the Cavs host one of the teams chasing the Pistons, Orlando – and was unusually shorthanded in the frontcourt. In addition to Love’s absence, Cleveland was also without big men Tristan Thompson, John Henson and Ante Zizic.

But the Pistons have lost games they had every expectation of winning over the past few seasons. It’s a measure of growth that they came out with a businesslike demeanor and never wavered. “I think the maturity level of our team really showed,” Andre Drummond said. “I feel like in the past when we had a game like this, we messed around with the game a lot. We did a good job of being professionals and played like it the whole way through and finished the game strong.”

Drummond, though, didn’t have to finish it at all. Nor did Blake Griffin or Reggie Jackson. Drummond and Griffin played 26 minutes, leaving before the third quarter was over. Drummond exhibited individual maturity, as well, not getting wide-eyed at the prospect of putting up big numbers against Cleveland’s overmatched frontcourt. He took just five shots, never forcing anything, but finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, making 7 of 8 free throws.

Griffin didn’t have to overextend himself, either, taking only 10 shots but finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds and nine assists. Jackson lit the fuse early, scoring 12 first-quarter points without missing a shot.

“He was efficient,” Casey said of Jackson, who finished with 24 on 9 of 11 shooting in 21 minutes. “They can’t lock in on Blake. Everybody else is scoring the ball. They tried to play zone – we were prepared for that.”

Luke Kennard led the Pistons, hitting his first six 3-point shots before his only miss, with 26 points in 22 minutes. His last two triples – a 27-footer and a 34-footer – came to beat the shot clock.

The Pistons, 4-1 since the All-Star break and winners of 8 of 10, tied a season high with 20 3-point makes, shooting 54 percent both overall and from the arc while holding Cleveland to 34 percent shooting and crushing the Cavs on the glass 51-33. All 13 players wound up in the black in plus/minus, 10 of them by double figures.

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