The Cleveland Cavaliers are moving onto the Eastern Conference Semifinals after completing a sweep of the Detroit Pistons with a 100-98 victory in Game 4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills Sunday night.
Point guard Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers to the victory by scoring a game-high 31 points after knocking down 12 of his 25 field-goal attempts and four of his 11 three-pointers, including a half-court look at the end of the third quarter, and a pull-up triple from the right wing with 42 seconds to play in regulation.
On a potential game-winning shot from Pistons guard Reggie Jackson, Irving bodied up the young veteran and forced the off-balance attempt, which was well off the mark.
In addition to Irving, the Cavaliers got double-digit scoring efforts from shooting guard J.R. Smith, small forward LeBron James, power forward Kevin Love and reserve guard Matthew Dellavedova.
James and Love tallied double-doubles of points and rebounds, as the prior scored 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to go along with his six assists and two steals, while Love tallied 11 markers and corralled 13 caroms.
Smith buried five of his seven looks from three-point range on the way to 15 points, and Dellavedova added 11 for the Cavaliers, who have won five straight close-out games in the postseason.
Four of Detroit’s starting five scored in double figures.
The Cavaliers trailed the Pistons, 28-25, after the first quarter of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
With their backs against the wall facing elimination, the Pistons started the game on a 10-2 scoring run, aided heavily by Morris’ two three-point shots and a pair of baskets from Drummond. However, the Cavaliers had an answer for Detroit.
Following the timeout, the Cavaliers went on a 15-7 run of their own and drew even with the Pistons, 17-17, with 4:58 to play, but Detroit outscored Cleveland, 11-8, over the last several minutes of play to take the three-point lead into the second quarter.
Smith and Love led the Cavaliers with six points each, while James and Irving added five markers apiece over the first 12 minutes of play.
Although Love missed all but one of his first eight looks at the basket, he converted four straight free-throw attempts and hauled in nine rebounds in the opening quarter.
Harris, who was a mid-season acquisition in a trade from the Orlando Magic, led the way for the Pistons with a 10-point first quarter, and got help in the way of 10 combined points from Morris and Drummond.
The Cavaliers held a 53-52 lead over the Pistons at halftime of Game 4.
Early in the quarter, the Cavaliers trailed the Pistons by two, but reserve small forward Richard Jefferson stepped up and converted a running jump shot from seven feet away, and then, caught a swing pass from James in the left corner of the court and knocked down a 24-foot three-point shot.
Then, four minutes later, J.R. Smith buried contested back-to-back three-pointers that put the Cavaliers in front of the Pistons, 42-40.
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Article Courtesy of WKYC Channel 3 News Cleveland
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