It took two overtimes, a few comebacks, and some big plays. But the Cleveland Cavaliers are still undefeated.
With a 128-119 win over the Detriot Pistons Saturday night in Detroit, the Cavs improved to 2-0 in the still-young 2020-21 NBA season. In the win, Collin Sexton led all scorers with 32 points and Darius Garland scored 21 points to go along with a career-high 12 assists.
In his season debut, Kevin Love had 15 points and 9 rebounds. And in his first game back in Detroit since being traded to Cleveland last season, Andre Drummond finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks.
Drummond notably helped get the game to overtime in the first place by sinking his last six free throws in the final 2:30 and blocking a Derrick Rose jump shot with Cleveland down two and 1:19 left to play. This was after the Cavs led by as many as 11, fell behind by as many as nine, and had to get back into the game on several occasions. Drummond helped force another Rose error at the end of the first overtime when he switched onto Rose and forced a deflection that turned into a Sexton layup at the other end.
It was Sexton and Garland, though, that really made the Cavs work in the win. Sexton provided a large chunk of the scoring juice and racked up buckets in transition, out of the pick-and-roll, and off of cuts. Garland, meanwhile, kept the ball moving and showed off some scoring flashes of his own. One of the big buckets of the night, in fact, was a Garland pull-up three-pointer with 3:05 to go in the second overtime to put the Cavs up 119-112.
The Cavs won the second overtime 16-7 with Sexton scoring six of the team’s points. Over the full 58 minutes, Cleveland also held a 64-44 scoring advantage in the paint and repeatedly made an effort to establish Drummond inside.
Up next: The Cavs have their first back-to-back of the season Sunday in Cleveland, as they’ll host the Philadelphia 76ers. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. and the 76ers will also be on the second half of a back-to-back.