The first half was extremely sloppy for the Cavs, but they came out with a different energy in the second half. They cut down on the turnovers and turned up the defense. They forced the Pistons to shoot 45% from the field, and forced 22 turnovers.
Darius Garland was back in the starting lineup for the first game since Jan. 2. Garland looked rusty and not completely healthy over the last three games, in which he came off the bench. That was not the case tonight, as he put up 14 points on 6-11 from the field, to go with four assists. He looked extremely confident and was able to get off his shot all game long.
Collin Sexton seems to never get tired and puts constant pressure on the defense. He led the team in scoring with 29 points, on a very efficient 10-14. He also pitched in five rebounds and five assists.
Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff staggers Sexton and Garland’s minutes throughout the game, and this seems to be the best course of action. They can each orchestrate the offense while being surrounded by shooters and a shot blocker.
Andre Drummond faced off against his former team, and he struggled for the first three quarters, but when the fourth came around, he was locked in. He was able to grab a double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds and was effective on defense with five steals.
The newcomers continue to make their presence felt and provide a much-needed spark off the bench. Taurean Prince had an all-around game with 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. While Jarrett Allen was protecting the rim all night and finished with 10 points and two blocks. The Pistons didn’t challenge Allen at the rim nearly as much as they did with Drummond.
Up Next: The Cavs will head to Madison Square Garden and take on the New York Knicks on Friday. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.