Cleveland Cavaliers rout Detroit Pistons, 116-88
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — An emphatic win over a first-place opponent had LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers talking confidently again.
“We haven’t had a win like that in a very long time,” James said. “That’s what happens when we don’t let up.”
James scored 16 of his 18 points in the first quarter and the Cavaliers made 11 3-pointers in the first half on the way to a 116-88 rout of the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Cleveland led 73-46 at halftime thanks to an overwhelming shooting performance, an indication that Detroit’s stay atop the Central Division might not last much longer.
The Pistons still lead the Cavs by a game, but Cleveland has won five straight and scored at least 110 points in eight of its last nine.
“That was 48 minutes of game planning and execution right from the beginning,” James said. “They’ve been playing extremely good basketball. They were coming off a great win (Sunday) night in Minnesota, so we knew that they were going to come out here and try to give us their best shot, and had to be ready for that.”
The Cavaliers led 27-22 when James went to the bench late in the first quarter. By the time he came back in, it was 50-30. Cleveland’s reserves outscored Detroit’s 26-8 in the first half.
Tobias Harris led Detroit with 11 points. Kevin Love had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland.