Cleveland’s seven-game losing streak is over. With their 115-100 win over the Pistons on Monday night in Detroit, the Cavs picked up their first win since Jan. 11 in Denver, when they beat the Nuggets near the beginning of their road trip.
Collin Sexton led all scorers with 23 points and Kevin Love added 20 points, all of which came in the first half. And in his first game back after missing 10 games from injury, Kevin Porter Jr. scored 9 points off the bench in 16 minutes.
Paying homage to Kobe Bryant
The Pistons — as the Cavs will do tomorrow — paid their respects to the late Kobe Bryant before the game. To start the game, the Cavs committed a 24 second violation and the Pistons an eight-second backcourt violation.
The Cavaliers and Pistons honor Kobe Bryant with a 24 second shot clock violation and 8 second backcourt violation. Rest in peace, Kobe. pic.twitter.com/wQfilZ5nXs— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) January 28, 2020
The honors for Kobe will continue and the emotions of players like Larry Nance Jr. showed, the wounds are still raw.
Kevin Porter Jr.’s return
There as a scare for Porter Jr. just a few minutes after he came off the bench. On a drive, he rolled his ankle and had to leave the game before heading back to the locker room. But he came back and made an impact on the game.
Without question, Porter Jr. has been one the the absolute bright spots for the Cavs this season. Getting him back is a win for the rotation in the short term, but it also injects some needed life into a group that has looked off since its last win. It’s very good to have him back.
A note about the rotation
This could all still change if/when the roster is shuffled at the trade deadline or after if any players are bought out. But it feels notable that tonight, John Beilein cut Matthew Dellavedova out of the rotation with Porter Jr. back. That meant the Cavs rolled out their normal starting five — Darius Garland, Sexton, Cedi Osman, Love, Tristan Thompson — with Porter Jr., Larry Nance Jr., John Henson, Alfonzo McKinnie and Dante Exum seeing the floor.
Again, it’s not a perfect group. But the bench unut in particular is longer than it was earlier in the year and plays with pace that other groupings haven’t this year. This is a good change to see.
The Cavs are back home tomorrow playing the second half of a back-to-back against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.