Tobias Harris scored 21 points and the Detroit Pistons took advantage of LeBron James’ absence to snap a five-game losing streak by downing the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-90 on Monday night at The Palace.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 18 points, Marcus Morris supplied 15 and Jon Leuer and Reggie Jackson chipped in 13 apiece for the Pistons. Andre Drummond added 11 points and a game-high 17 rebounds in a game the last-place Pistons (15-18) never trailed.
James, who played 40 minutes in Cleveland’s 109-108 victory over Golden State on Christmas Day, sat in street clothes as coach Tyronn Lue opted to give him the night off.
James was rested in two other games this season after playing a home game the previous night. Cleveland lost to Memphis and Indiana in the other games James didn’t play.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers (23-7), who had their five-game winning streak snapped, with 18 points and eight assists. Kevin Love contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds. Iman Shumpert, Kay Felder and Channing Frye had 11 points apiece.
The Cavs pulled within one on a couple of occasions in the third quarter but couldn’t get over the hump. Leuer had an eight-point quarter and Detroit finished it with an 11-3 spurt for a 76-64 advantage.
Harris and Caldwell-Pope tossed in 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, extended Detroit’s lead to 17. The lead remained double digits the rest of the way.
The Pistons had a 14-point lead in the second quarter, but it was down to 50-44 at halftime despite 13 Cleveland turnovers. Love reached a double-double by the break with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Drummond grabbed 13 rebounds but missed all five of his free throws, forcing coach Stan Van Gundy to pull him for the last two minutes of the half.
NOTES: Cavs PG Kyrie Irving had two games off this month and PF Kevin Love missed three, which is why coach Tyronn Lue chose to sit SF LeBron James on Monday. “Kyrie had six days off last week, him and Kevin,” Lue said. “Having that whole week to get his legs and get his rest, and playing five games in seven nights, including tonight, played a big factor in my decision to hold out LeBron.” … Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy marvels at James’ consistent excellence. “He’s right at the top of the conversation for the best player there’s even been in this league,” he said. “He’s still playing at an extremely high level.” … Cleveland C Tristan Thompson played his 400th consecutive regular-season game, the longest active streak and longest in franchise history. … The Pistons were 1-11 when allowing 100 or more points.