Pistons bounce Cavaliers, jump out to decade-best 4-0 start

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Pistons might be on to something. It’s only four games — but they’re all wins.

And that’s something.

Blake Griffin (23) of the Detroit Pistons looks for a open teammate while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half.

The Pistons continued their hot streak to open the season, taking a 110-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night at Little Caesars Arena. Their four-game win streak matches their 4-0 start in the 2008-09 season.

They go for five on Saturday night, when they host the Boston Celtics.

BOX SCORE: Pistons 110, Cavaliers 103

Blake Griffin, who had a career-high 50 points in Tuesday’s overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers, had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Drummond added his second 20-20 game of the season, with 26 points and 22 rebounds and Reggie Jackson 16 points and four assists.

“We can’t get too excited; it’s still early in the season,” Drummond said. “We have a lot of games to go so we have to take them win by win and game by game and keep getting better.”

After three one-possession victories to start the season, the Pistons had a little more cushion Thursday, with a double-digit lead for much of the second half. The Cavs (0-5) were playing on the second night of a back-to-back and were without All-Star forward Kevin Love, who had a foot injury.

“It’s very important just to get the win. You’ll hear every player in every locker room across the NBA say we’ll take the win,” Griffin said. “Being 4-0 is better than 2-2 or whatever it could be. We have to keep improving. I don’t think 4-0 is something to be satisfied with.”

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Though the Cavs were winless, the Pistons struggled to put the game away in the final minutes, after building a double-digit lead. They’ve eked out the victory in each game when they had a chance to close the door, but it’s something they’ll continue to work on.

“We haven’t really been as good as we should be at this point in just executing. It’s a matter of two or three stops — that’s it,” Griffin said. “We just haven’t done it yet, but we also got wins.

“When we’re not scoring the ball well, we have to rely on our defense.”

The Pistons started the fourth quarter with an 80-68 lead and extended it with a 3-pointer by Griffin, who was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. The Cavs stayed close, with 11 straight points from Kyle Korver, including a pair of 3-pointers, to trim the lead to 97-89 at the 4:34 mark.

Drummond had back-to-back baskets to bookend Korver’s last lay-in and pushed the lead back to 10 but Rodney Hood (10 points) added a jumper to keep it close.

Korver continued his fourth-quarter barrage — when he had 16 of his 21 points — with a four-point play with 49.1 seconds left, trimming the lead to 107-101.

The Pistons opened their lead with a 15-7 run midway through the third quarter. Jackson (seven) and Drummond (eight) accounted for all the points.

“It’s good. Reggie’s starting to figure things out; he’s playing very well,” Drummond said. “Obviously, Blake played great again. We’re playing very well as a unit.”


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard