The Cavs defeated the Pistons 108 - 100 in their second In Season Tournament game.
Donovan Mitchell missed his second game of the season with a hamstring strain, Dean Wade filled his spot in the starting lineup. Isaac Okoro missed his 6th game in a row with a knee injury.
The Cavs started the game on fire shooting 70% from the floor and 66% from 3 point land in the first quarter. Max Strus led the way with 13 first quarter points as the Cavs went on to end the quarter with a 7 point lead thanks to a 20 - 9 run.
Coach Bickerstaff in his post game press conference on his team's shooting.
“We’ve got guys who can make shots, we continue to do a great job of creating for one another and those shots are gonna go. They’ll average out once we get our defense where we want it, and then the ability to make those shots will give us an opportunity to win games. We’re still a work in progress, were still trying to get better, get to our peak, but that’s something that is gradual for us and we won’t skip steps to get there”
Despite the Cavs lead, the Wine and Gold struggled to keep the Pistons off the glass as they out rebounded the Cavs 26 to 16 in the first half. Coach Bickerstaff during his pregame media availability reiterated the Cavs main priority is to protect the paint.
“I thought we were hit or miss, I think they did a really good job, Cade Cunningham in particular with his size, getting to the paint, then putting our guys in a hold position and making plays from there. I thought our big guys did a good job, Jarrett had the 5 blocks, but he was challenging and contesting shots. I think we were ok, I'll go back and watch the film a little bit more to see it as a whole, but I think we can get better."
The 3rd quarter was a challenge for the Cavs, after trailing by 15 at halftime the Pistons rallied back to cut the lead to as low as 4 thanks to a 17-6 run. The Pistons bench was most responsible for getting them back in the game, as they scored 15 of the Pistons 28 3rd quarter points.
Darius Garland's most productive quarter was the 3rd quarter. He scored 10 points on 50% shooting and nailed a key 3 pointer near the end of the quarter to bump the lead back up to 7. Garland finished his night with 28 points, 3 assists and 6 rebounds including 8 trips to the free throw line 4 coming in the 4th quarter.
The Cavs began the 4th quarter with a 5 point lead and that’s as close as the Pistons would get. The Cavs had their best defensive quarter holding the Pistons to just 13 points. The Cavs also showed much more aggression on offense in the quarter as they had 8 trips to the foul line making 7 and being in the penalty for the last 4 minutes of regulation.
With the win on Friday night the Cavs In Season Tournament record improves to 1-1, their next tournament game is against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday November 21st.
The Cavs (6-6) will host the defending Champions, the Denver Nuggets (9-3) on Sunday November 19th. The Nuggets will be without Jamal Murray who’s been out with a hamstring injury.