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Pistons find way to stop James at end

Terry Foster
The Detroit News
The Cavaliers' LeBron James drives against the Pistons'’ Reggie Bullock on Tuesday night.

Auburn Hills — Reggie Jackson wasn’t alone, although it appeared as if he handled LeBron James defensively down the stretch Tuesday.

James was held scoreless, missing two shots, and had a turnover with Jackson guarding him late. But there was more going on.

Other defenders gave James different looks as he decided whether to back Jackson down or look for an open man. James turned into a passer as the Pistons rallied for a 104-99 victory.

“When you are guarding the best player in the world you can’t stop him,” Pistons center Andre Drummond said. “He had 30. We did the best we could to contain him and make him more of a facilitator than scorer. We did a good job of switching off on him and making him take tough shots.”

Said forward Marcus Morris: “(James) baits you to come down and help. What we did is we did not come off the shooters and we let Andre come over and make that decision.”

McHale firing a shock

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy got the news from assistant Tim Hardaway: Kevin McHale was fired as Rockets coach after a 4-7 start.

It was a shock because the Rockets reached the Western Conference finals last season.

“Eleven games for anybody is quick, but with all the success they had last year, I was pretty surprised,” Van Gundy said. “You don’t expect that from a team that made the final four last year and is really bringing the same group back.

“There is probably a story we don’t know because that was one of the stranger ones I’ve seen.”

Scheduling blasted

The Pistons still were upset over having to play Tuesday night at home two days after returning from a 10-day, six-city West Coast swing.

“I don’t know where the league comes out making judgments like that,” Morris said. “It was a long trip. There are no excuses. We came home. We have to continue winning.”

... Drummond, who has a double-double in all 11 games, on MVP talk: “I am just worried about winning basketball games. I can’t control individual awards.”

terry.foster@detroitnews.com

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