Garland scores 24 points, Cavaliers beat Pistons 113-109 | Basketball
By BRIAN DULIK – Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — All-Star point guard Darius Garland had 24 points and 12 assists, Evan Mobley had his 20th double-double, an NBA rookie record, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Detroit Pistons 113-109 on Saturday. evening.
Mobley finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Cedi Osman scored 16 points and Kevin Love had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who earned their 41st victory to clinch their first undefeated season in four years.
Jerami Grant scored 27 of his season-high 40 points in the first half and first draft pick Cade Cunningham added 15 points and 10 assists for Detroit. Saddiq Bey had 20 points, following his career-high 51 in Orlando two days earlier.
Cleveland extended its lead to 1 1/2 games over Toronto for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers trailed 80-68 in the third quarter but beat Detroit 31-9 in the next 9:18 to take command and win for the 18th time in their last 23 home games.
Cleveland completed a straight set after overcoming a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and beating Denver 119-116 in overtime on Friday.
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The Cavaliers are 3-1 on their longest home run of the season, a five-man game that ends Monday against LeBron James and the Lakers. All-Star center Jarrett Allen missed his seventh straight game with a broken finger in his left hand.
Detroit has lost five of six and has the second-worst record in the East at 19-52.
A Marvin Bagley III dunk gave the Pistons their biggest lead at 80-68 in the third, but Cleveland outscored them 14-1 to finish the quarter 82-81. Love made three 3-pointers in the flurry.
Grant was 6 of 7 on 3-pointers as Detroit built a 60-55 advantage in the first half. The Pistons used a 14-0 run, with six players scoring, midway through the second quarter to erase Cleveland’s 36-27 lead.
Garland had 15 points for the Cavaliers, who missed 10 of 12 3-pointers and committed eight turnovers before intermission. Grant scored 15 points in the first period.
Cunningham, Mobley and Raptors F Scottie Barnes are the top contenders for the Rookie of the Year award. Thunder G Josh Giddey, Rockets G Jalen Green and Magic F Franz Wagner are also in the top group of a very deep group.
“This is going to be one of the top three or four draft classes ever,” Cleveland coach JB Bickerstaff said. “There are so many guys who can play at a high level and play the game more mature than their age.”
Detroit coach Dwane Casey sees class the same way, saying, “It’s been a while since we’ve seen a group like this. You could plead every player’s case, but I’m very biased towards Cade.
Pistons: G Killian Hayes (head contusion) was not in uniform after being injured Thursday in Orlando. … G Frank Jackson (lumbar spine spasm), G Hamidou Diallo (left finger sprain) and two-way G Chris Smith (left knee sprain) were unavailable. … C Luka Garza is on a mission in the G League with Motor City Cruise. … Detroit has a three-game winning streak at home against Cleveland.
Cavaliers: G Rajon Rondo (sprained right ankle) practiced on court late in the afternoon but was inactive for the fourth game in a row. … F Dean Wade (right knee pain) hasn’t played since March 12 in Chicago. … Cleveland went to overtime twice in three games, beating the Clippers and Nuggets, after not going over regulation in their first 67 games.
Pistons: Host the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Cavaliers: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.
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