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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, December 3rd (All times eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (4-13) at Detroit Pistons (5-13), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of cellar dwellers in the Central Division renew their rivalry Monday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers pay a visit to the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Cavaliers are hoping they won't be without second-leading scorer Dion Waiters because of a sprained left ankle. The rookie Waiters, who is questionable against Detroit, is second on the team with 15.2 points per game for a Cleveland squad already dealing with the loss of reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving (broken finger). Irving leads the Cavs with 22.9 ppg.
Waiters had 12 points in Saturday's 118-117 double-overtime loss versus Portland and was one of eight players with 10-plus points. Alonzo Gee had a career-high tying 22 points and Anderson Varejao registered his eighth straight double-double (12th overall) with 19 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. The last Cavs player to post eight straight double-doubles was Tyrone Hill in 1997.
"It's a tough one," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "I thought our guys played hard. I didn't think we played very smart."
Tyler Zeller added 14 points and 10 boards off the bench, while Jeremy Pargo posted 13 points and eight assists for Cleveland, which lost for the 11th time in 13 tries and set a season-high with 32 assists on 43 made field goals. The Cavs' 15 offensive rebounds led to a season-high 33 second-chance points.
Pargo is averaging 15.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in seven games as a starter. Varejao has grabbed 15 or more rebounds in eight straight games.
Cleveland is allowing 101.9 ppg and owns a 2-9 road mark.
Detroit has lost two in a row since winning three of four games, and will begin a three-game homestand Monday versus Cleveland, Golden State and Chicago.
The Pistons suffered their fourth consecutive road loss in Saturday's 92-77 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks.
Brandon Knight scored 20 points and Tayshaun Prince had 12 points and five rebounds for the Pistons, who led after the first quarter and at halftime. The Pistons, though, were outscored 50-29 in the second half.
"We didn't get stops and they started hitting a lot of open jumpers. They became very confident and very tough to defend," Knight said.
Greg Monroe had eight points, 15 rebounds, two assists and one steal. Jason Maxiell recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and a season-high-tying 12 rebounds.
Knight is posting an average of 19.2 points per game over his past five. The Pistons, who are yielding 96.8 ppg, sport a 4-3 ledger at home and a 1-10 mark on the road. They are averaging 13.7 more points as the host than on the road.
Detroit and Cleveland have split the past eight meetings, but the Cavaliers are 11-4 in the past 15 contests in this series.
12/03 10:32:48 ET
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