CLEVELAND: After the Cavaliers won back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 16-17, Kevin Love had the perfect light-hearted perspective on a night that was filled with light-hearted moments.

“I know. What was it Major League? Who’s the skipper, says, ‘Two games in a row, that’s a winning streak.’ That’s what it feels like right now,” Love said. “We’ll take what we can get.”

With coach Tyronn Lue using LeBron James with the second unit to start the fourth quarter, the Cavs picked up their effort on defense and held the Detroit Pistons to 17 points in the quarter and won going away, 121-104 Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Pistons (22-26), who lost their eighth consecutive game, host the Cavs on Tuesday night.

Losing 10 of the previous 14 coming in, the Cavs (29-19) had been in such a funk that turning in 48 minutes of maximum effort seemed like a challenge they had no interest in meeting.

Love said that still didn’t happen. James said he didn’t like the second quarter, when the Pistons outscored the Cavs by eight.

“No, I don’t think so. Just because it felt a little weird out there sometimes,” Love said. “The ball stopped, that’s nothing new, just trying to get it to both sides of the floor, but a lot of times we did do that. A majority of the time we had better moments, but we still feel like we can do a lot better. That’s something that for the most part is it easily correctable and something we have to have in the back of our minds.”

Lue found a spark with a new rotation, starting the fourth quarter with James, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Channing Frye and Jeff Green.

James scored nine of his 25 points and Korver had nine of his 12 in the fourth quarter.

Lue stuck with them until 3:46 remained, when he lifted Frye and Green and replaced them with Love and J.R. Smith. The Cavs led 108-100 when the two departed.

“We were running like some crazy men,” Frye said. “The ball was finding energy. We were making quick decisions. No matter what scheme teams have, I think when we’re out there just playing, coach is calling one play, but we have different options from that play. Guys are really playing unselfish and it’s just fun. Guys were having a good time.”

Seeking camaraderie anywhere they can find it, the Cavs had a rare on-court display with 7:35 left in the second quarter. After a rebound dunk by Frye, J.R. Smith ran nearly three-quarters of the court to shoulder-bump him and Love followed to congratulate his locker-mate.

“He’s heavy. So when he bumped me I was already tired. I love celebrating, but just give me a simple handshake or a high five,” Frye said.

Smith said, “I’ve put on weight and he’s lost weight, so I tried to give him a little extra.” As for how far he ran, Smith said, “For sure. It felt like a safety coming across the middle.”

Love said, “As soon as I came in he said, ‘No more jumping.’ ”

Isaiah Thomas thought the athletic move came from Green.

“For him to come out of nowhere, that was big,” Thomas said. “You had Channing with the putback dunk. You had Kyle with the off-the-dribble move to the basket. So, a lot was working for us. That was fun to see guys getting up and enjoying the game and just having fun together.”

Along with his 25 points, James had eight rebounds and 14 assists. Love scored 20 points with 11 rebounds.

Smith, coming off a season-high 23 points on Friday against the Indiana Pacers, continued his slump-busting streak with 15 points, making 4-of-7 from 3-point range.

Thomas added 14 points with seven assists. Crowder and Korver had 12 points each.

Korver said the mood of the team has felt better for the last couple days.

“But I’ve always felt that about this team. Inside, like, it’s OK. On the outside, it’s like burning down,” Korver said. “But we’re OK. We’ve got little things here and there and we’re not perfect and we’re trying to figure things out, but I thought tonight looked good, too. It was good to have a win where it was a good team win, where it wasn’t just relying on LeBron to carry it home.

“He still did at the end, but it felt like there was a lot of things happening and that’s how we need to play. During the regular season you gotta find ways to get like the whole team to be clicking and operating and I thought tonight was a good step in that direction.”

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.