Head coach Byron Scott sent a message to his starters, who combined for 45 points tonight, by not playing them at all in the fourth quarter.
The whole game the Cavs (13-34) couldn’t get in a rhythm offensively and fell to the Detroit Pistons (18-29).
Tristan Thompson was the Cavaliers’ leading scoring tonight with 19 points and 9 rebounds. First-round picks Tyler Zeller and Dion Waiters combined for 8 points tonight on a combined 3 of 12 shooting.
Defensively the Cavs were pitiful. The Pistons, who shot 53 percent from the field, dominated the Cavs in the paint scoring 62 points.
The game got out of hand in the third quarter when the Pistons went on a run in the last seven minutes of the quarter.
Kyrie Irving faced off with Brandon Knight, fellow draft classmate, and was dominated by him giving by 20 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds to the point guard.
Offensively the Cavs shot 39 percent from the field, far less from the Pistons’ 53 percent.
The Pistons were without their new acquisition, Jose Calderon.
In his fourth game with the Cavs Marreese Speights led the Cavs’ bench with 17 points and 8 rebounds. He went on a hot streak early in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback.
Thompson and Speights were the lone bright spots with their near double-doubles for the Cavs tonight.
This game won’t sit well with Coach Scott and will not have too much time to assess it as they head home to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (35-11) tomorrow night. The Thunder come into the game with the second-best record in the NBA; only trailing the San Antonio Spurs. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.