Cavs 79, Pistons 68
It took LeBron James and dominant defense to win this game for the Cavaliers. The Pistons hung around for three solid quarters, remembering the legacy they had as a team. That, however, didn't stop James from going off and the defense from standing firm.
James scored 11 points in the quarter, dished out four assists and pulled down three rebounds, to pull out the win. He played aggressively, attacking the rim and essentially imposed his will on the game.
Defensively, the team held the Pistons to just 29.4 percent shooting from the floor, while connecting on 52 percent themselves.
Third quarter: Cavs 53, Pistons 53
The Cavaliers blow an opportunity to put further distance between themselves and the Pistons with a mediocre effort. The Pistons need to be given credit for hunkering down on defense. But Coach Mike Brown has to be concerned about the play of his starting backcourt which was 1-of-13 at 3:38 of the quarter.
Second quarter: Cavs 44, P:istons 37
The Cavs create some separation, but what's been the key difference is the free throw line where Cleveland, especially LeBron James, is driving the ball and getting calls. The Pistons have taken seven more shots (38) than the Cavaliers and are hitting close to 40 percent. The Cavs have hit 15-of-31 for 48 percent, but they've taken 16 trips to the charity stripe and hit 13 of them. Not surprisingly, the Cavs are winning the battle in the paint, 18-12. A big area of concern: guard play. Mo Williams and Delonte West are a combined 0-of-6. That has to change. They've created a cushion, the third quarter tells whether they want this game. They build on it, and this one could be over.
First quarter: Cavs 18, Pistons 18
No big surpirse the Pistons came out giving their best punch going on an 8-0 run to open the game. LeBron James had something to say about that, scoring five points grabbing five rebounds and four assists. The Cavs looked a bit tentative to start but came back to eventually tie the game. Ilgauskas led the team with eight points in the quarter.