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Gameblog: Cavs vs. Detroit Pistons

By George Thomas Published: February 22, 2009

Post mortem:
Someone on press row had to wake me when this one was over because the Cavs 99-78 win over the Pistons tonight was a snoozefest from the first quarter on.
The most excitement came toward the end of the game when fans wondered whether the team's deep bench players would score the magical 100 points to score them a free chalupa.
As you can see by the score they left disappointed.
If Friday night belonged to LeBron James, this one was Delonte West's.  Injured since Jan. 15, he returned to score 25 points including hitting 5-of-5 from the three-point arc.
Game: Cavs (41-11) vs. Detroit Pistons (27-26)
Broadcast:  TV: ESPN. WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters:  Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilguaskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G).  Pistons Tayshaun Prince (F); Antonio McDyess (F); Rasheed Wallace (C); Allen Iverson (G); Rodney Stuckey (G).
Injured-inactive: Cavs:  Sasha Pavlovic (ankle)
Officials: Joe Forte, Gary Zielinski, Eric Dalen
This year: The series is tied 1-1, the Cavs won the last meeting on Feb. 1 90-8- at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Streaking:  Cavs have won three in a row; the Pistons are losers of five consecutive.
Three things to watch:

  • Pistons on the road:  Detroit has won four-of-five from the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena and, most notably, are one of the league's better teams on the road with a 13-11 record.  Having lost five consecutive at home, it may be a case of road sweet road for them.
  • LeBron James: He's coming off a 55-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks, but he also has success against Detroit.  He said that the three-minute burst of scoring he had against the Bucks was second only to game five of the Eastern Conference Finals a couple of years back.  This season he is averaging 29 points againt the Pistons - both in Detroit.
  • Delonte West:  What does his return do for the Cavaliers?
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on Delohte West's return :
I have to applaud those guys in the locker room; we stepped up.  But Delonte’s a hard guy to replace.  He’s that good. We missed him, but we didn’t miss him to the point where it hurt us.
From the locker room:
Delonte West on:
We’re very confident in every guy that suits up.  We’re confident in our coaching staff and that’s where trust comes in.  That’s why we feel we can put any five on the floor at any time and we can compete with the best of them.  That’s what Cleveland basketball is.
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