LOS ANGELES (dpa) – The Detroit Pistons were firing on all cylinders Sunday and the Cleveland Cavaliers got hit with a barrage of three-pointers.
Brandon Jennings scored 25 points, with five of his team’s franchise-record 17 triples, and the visiting Pistons crushed the Cavs 103-80.
Besides their long-distance outburst (17-of-31), the Pistons clamped down on the defensive to post a second straight victory, since waiving forward Josh Smith last week.
“This morning at shoot-around we really harped on the defensive end, Pistons forward Andre Drummond said after a 16-point, 17-rebound, five-block effort.
“We did everything we were supposed to do in our game plan and came away with a big win.”
Jodie Meeks and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drilled three triples apiece enroute to 14 points and 13, respectively for Detroit, which was in the midst of a 2-17 rut before beating Indiana on Friday.
“I think Friday night was our best game of the year, and tonight was better,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We’re 7-23 and certainly playing better but we’ll see. We’ve still got a long way to go but it was a step forward.”
The Cavs seem to be taking a step in the other direction, especially with centre Anderson Varejao out with season-ending torn Achilles tendon and All-Star star point guard Kyrie Irving nursing a sore left knee.
“We’re not a very good team, as far as on the court, where we’re still trying to find our way,” said LeBron James, who finished with 17 points on just 5-19 shooting, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Kevin Love had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Tristan Thompson netted 18 with 11 boards for Cleveland (18-11), which shot a frosty 32.8 per cent and committed 18 turnovers, resulting in 23 Detroit points.
Trailing by 43-32 midway through the period, Detroit went on an 18-0 blitz behind eight points by Jennings enroute to a 50-47 halftime lead.
The Pistons started the third quarter on an 18-6 run, with Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Singler combining for three triples to help open up a 68-53 cushion.
Detroit carried a 77-61 advantage into the final frame and extending it to 27 before motoring home with the stunning road victory.
Spurs 110 – Houston Rockets 106
Danny Green scored 24 points, including four free throws in the final 22 seconds, and the Spurs (19-13) – without injured starters Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard – won for just the second time in the last eight games after knocking off the Southwest Division leaders.
James Harden netted 28 points, reserve Corey Brewer added 25 and Dwight Howard had 24 with 17 rebounds for Houston (21-8), which had taken the last six meetings against its Texas rivals.
Mavericks 112 – mThunder 107
German juggernaut Dirk Nowitzki netted 11 of his season-high-tying 30 points in the final five minutes, Chandler Parsons added 26, and the Mavericks (22-10) used a 31-19 fourth quarter to rally past the visiting Thunder.
Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 26 points while Russell Westbrook had 18, nine rebounds and nine assists for Oklahoma City (15-17), playing without league MVP Kevin Durant (ankle sprain) for the sixth straight game.
Trail Blazers 101 – NY Knicks 79
Wesley Matthews drilled six of his team’s 16 triples enroute to a season-high 28 points and the Trail Blazers (25-7) – minus their top scorer LaMarcus Aldridge (upper respiratory infection) – routed the visiting Knicks for their eighth win in the last nine games.