Smith and Jennings lead Pistons to win over Cleveland
10:17 PM, Dec 23, 2013
10:21 PM, Dec 23, 2013
CLEVELAND -- Josh Smith scored 25 points, Brandon Jennings added 21 and the Detroit Pistons continued their domimant play on the road with a 115-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
The Pistons have won seven of their last eight away from home, including victories against defending NBA champion Miami and Indiana, which has the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Jennings also had 13 assists for Detroit, which went ahead for good midway through the first quarter and built a 21-point lead late in the first half. The margin reached 28 points in the fourth quarter as the Pistons rolled to their biggest win of the season.
Kyrie Irving scored 21 points for Cleveland, which last lost four of five.
Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum was scoreless in 22 minutes, missing all 11 shots from the field and getting seven rebounds.
Detroit is 6-10 on its own court and was coming off home losses to Charlotte and Houston, but took control early.
Smith hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions late in the second quarter that stretched the lead to 56-35. The Pistons were 22 of 41 from the field in the first half and took a 58-40 lead to the locker room.
Cleveland cut the lead to 10 points in the third quarter, but three baskets by Jennings, including two 3-pointers, five points by Smith and dunks by Andre Drummond on consecutive fast breaks extended the lead back to 89-64.
Smith was 10 of 18 from the field and had eight rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes. Drummond had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Greg Monrore scored 11 points and had 11 rebounds for Detroit, which placed seven players in double figures.
Reserves from both teams played most of the fourth quarter.
Tristan Thompson scored 17 points for the Cavaliers. Cleveland played without guard Dion Waiters, the team's second-leading scorer, for the third straight game because of tendinitis in his right wrist.
The Cavaliers had shown signs of progress earlier this month, winning three straight and five of six. Cleveland has struggled since, dropping close games to Miami and Portland and losing by 16 points to a short-handed Chicago team on Saturday.
The Pistons have won seven in a row against the Cavaliers, including four straight in Cleveland.
Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks coached his 600th career game. He has also coached for Portland and Philadelphia.
Drummond was given a flagrant foul for knocking Thompson to the floor while the Cavaliers forward drove in the lane in the first quarter. ... The Cavaliers were hit with three delay-of-game warnings in the first quarter, resulting in two technical fouls. ... Cavaliers rookie F Anthony Bennett -- the No. 1 overall pick in the draft -- returned after missing two games with the flu. He missed three shots and committed a turnover in six first quarter minutes. Bennett ended the game with seven points.