NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 12th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (19-33) at Detroit Pistons (22-29), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Pistons are 1-0 under new head coach John Loyer and will try to stay unbeaten when they welcome Central Division rivals, the Cleveland Cavaliers to The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pistons fired Maurice Cheeks Sunday after he led them to a 21-29 record. The team was in the midst of a two-game winning streak, but it reached three thanks to a 109-100 home win over the San Antonio Spurs Monday.
"I told them it was going to be an emotional day," Loyer said. "I told them that I thought we can play collectively for longer periods of time, better than we have. We had to dig deep and play together. I thought our guys showed great resolve tonight."
Brandon Jennings led six Detroit players in double figures with 21 points, Rodney Stuckey scored 20 points off the bench and Greg Monroe tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds in Loyer's debut as interim head coach.
Andre Drummond (14), Josh Smith (12) and Kyle Singler (10) were the other players to crack double-figures.
The Spurs outshot the Pistons from the field, but Detroit forced 19 San Antonio turnovers, which translated to 26 Pistons points.
The Cavs are playing good basketball since owner Dan Gilbert fired general manager Chris Grant. Cleveland has won three straight, including its last road contest, a two-point victory in Washington on Friday.
The most recent Cleveland win came Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers dispatched the Sacramento Kings, 109-99.
The much-maligned Anthony Bennett is starting to turn the corner as the No. 1 overall pick tallied his first career double-double in his 40th career game.
Bennett had 19 points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday night. He finally cracked the double-digit scoring barrier in his 33rd career game with 15 points, but has surpassed that plateau three other times since -- including Tuesday.
"All the hard work I've put in with the coaching staff and the players is paying off," Bennett said.
Luol Deng netted a game-high 22 points, Dion Waiters tallied 20 points and eight assists and Tristan Thompson added 16 points and 13 boards for the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving finished with 13.
The Cavs winning streak comes at a perfect time. They had dropped six straight prior to this run before the All-Star break.
The Pistons beat the Cavs by 23 in Cleveland on Dec. 23 and have taken seven straight against their division rival. Detroit has won three in a row at home versus the Cavs.
02/12 10:30:22 ET