NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 8th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Pistons (6-15) at Cleveland Cavaliers (4-16), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers have been without their talented young backcourt for the past three games and have yet to win over that span.
The Cavs' current four-game slide includes a loss to the Detroit Pistons and they'll try to avenge that setback on Saturday night with a rematch in Cleveland.
Cleveland has lost eight of its last nine games and Friday night's 91-73 loss to the hosting Minnesota Timberwolves was its 10th in a row without guard Kyrie Irving, the top pick of the 2011 draft. Irving is out with a broken left index finger and his loss has been compounded by the fact that fellow guard Dion Waiters, selected fourth overall in the year's draft, has missed the past three games with a sprained left ankle and is unlikely to play Saturday.
Waiters last played in a one-point double-overtime loss against Portland on Dec. 1 and his string of missed games began two nights later in Detroit. The Cavs were defeated 89-79 in that game, their third loss in a row against the Pistons.
Cleveland has won six of its last eight at home versus Detroit and will try to shake off Saturday's loss in Minnesota. Alonzo Gee paced the Cavaliers with 16 points and C.J. Miles added 13.
"(The Timberwolves) played pretty good defense, but right now we just seem to be hesitating on shots that we do have open at times. We're just not playing with a whole lot of confidence right now," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said.
Anderson Varejao had 14 rebounds, but failed to record a double-double for the first time in 11 games after being held to just four points in more than 33 minutes of action.
Varejao will try to rebound tonight and follow the blueprint laid out by Chicago's Joakim Noah, who had 30 points and 23 rebounds in Friday night's 108-104 win over Detroit.
Rodney Stuckey had 24 points and seven assists, while Brandon Knight netted 21 points as the Pistons lost for the fourth time in five games despite leading by 17 at one point in the first half.
"I don't think the leads get into it, but I think our guys went down with it," said Pistons coach Lawrence Frank. "That being said, you come out of the third quarter and it's who is going to turn up the intensity first and we kept on trading blows, but they kept on delivering more body blows than we could."
Knight paced the Pistons offense in the earlier win over the Cavs, logging 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Varejao had 17 points and 18 boards for the Cavs.
12/08 10:30:16 ET