On Monday, a new starting lineup lead to good things for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In a 112-90 drubbing of the Detroit Pistons, the Cavs were lead by a 31-point, seven-assist, seven-rebound night from LeBron James and a 22-point, 15-rebound night from Larry Nance Jr. in his first start as a Cavalier. Nance’s 15 rebounds also set a new career high. Rodney Hood also added 13 points in his first start with the team.
Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 25 points, while Andre Drummond added 15 points and nine rebounds.
The game started close, as only James and Nance played well in the first quarter for Cleveland and the Cavs trailed 28-26 after one. James and Nance combined for 20 of the Cavs’ points.
A bench unit of Jose Calderon, Jordan Clarkson, Ante Zizic, Cedi Osman and Kyle Korver started the second quarter, and the game was tied at 33 when James and the rest of the starters returned with 6:23 to go. With 5:29 to go in the second quarter, James found Nance for an alley-oop to put the Cavs up 40-38. Cleveland would not trail the rest of the game. It led 54-49 at the half.
By the 10:19 mark of the third quarter, the Cavs led by 10, and by the 7:35 mark, the Cavs led by 17. The Pistons got as close as 11 points in the quarter, but Cleveland ended up leading by 20 points after three quarters. James had a 15-point third quarter to lead the Cavs.
James sat the fourth, while Nance had a brief cameo in the quarter to defend Andre Drummond. But the Cavs’ bench unit pushed the Cavs’ lead back up above 20 points, and the last few minutes saw both teams empty their benches.
The Cavs next play on Wednesday in Denver against the Nuggets as the start of a West Coast road trip. Tipoff is at 10:30 p.m.