LeBron, Cavs down Pistons without a fight
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – LeBron James poured in a career-high 43
points to lead Cleveland to an easy 92-76 win over Detroit at Gund Arena.
James ended 15-of-22 from the field and 11-of-12 from the foul line while Jeff
McInnis netted 16 points for the red-hot Cavaliers, who have won seven of
their last eight games.
“I just had to come out here and play great and try and help our team win, and
I was able to do that tonight,” said James.
Richard Hamilton scored a team-high 28 points for the Pistons, who have
dropped three of their last four games. Rasheed Wallace added 11 points and
Antonio McDyess ripped down a game-high 14 rebounds in the loss.
Detroit played the third of six games without All-Star center Ben Wallace,
who is continuing to serve his suspension for his part in last Friday night’s
brawl at The Palace.
Pistons coach Larry Brown missed Tuesday’s game in Charlotte, but was back on
the sidelines for Wednesday’s contest. Brown, who recently had hip surgery and
was told not to travel with the team until he was feeling better, arrived at
Gund Arena about 1 1/2 hours prior to game time.
Cleveland led 16-14 late in the first quarter, but the Cavaliers closed the
period by scoring eight of the final 11 points. James had six during the late
run as the lead was 24-17 after one period.
James went 6-of-8 from the field and scored 14 points in the first quarter.
Cleveland continued to add to its cushion early in the second as McInnis’
three-pointer near the midpoint of the quarter widened the gap to 40-28. The
Cavs stretched the lead late in the period and carried a comfortable 54-37
advantage into the locker room.
James ended the first half with 21 points, while Hamilton had 15 for Detroit
in the opening 24 minutes.
“He (James) played great tonight,” said Hamilton. “You can’t take anything
away from him. He did everything and he got his teammates involved. He was
really hitting the long three balls. When he’s hitting jump shots and three-
pointers the way he was shooting, I don’t think there’s anybody in the league
who can stop him.”
The Pistons began the third quarter on an 8-0 run, capped by Hamilton’s
bucket, to pull within 54-46. However, Cleveland steadied itself and got its
lead up to 15 points on Ira Newble’s jumper later in the period.
The Cavaliers eventually led 71-59 after 36 minutes.
Detroit cut the deficit to 73-65 on Lindsey Hunter’s field goal early in the
fourth, but a pair of James three-pointers highlighted a quick 9-0 run and
made it a 17-point game. The Pistons never seriously threatened again.
James’ 43 points were an NBA season-high. It was the most points by a Cavalier
since December 9, 2002 when Ricky Davis had 45 points…Detroit is 1-4 without
Ben Wallace this season…Cleveland is 5-1 at home this year, while the
Pistons have won just once in six tries as the visitor…The Cavaliers
defeated Detroit for only the third time in the last 12 meetings.