Cavs shut down Pistons

Cleveland's LeBron James (23) slam dunks over Detroit's Reggie Bullock during the Cavs' 107-90 victory on Wednesday. The Pistons had no answer to James' power and great three-point shooting from J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
Cleveland's LeBron James (23) slam dunks over Detroit's Reggie Bullock during the Cavs' 107-90 victory on Wednesday. The Pistons had no answer to James' power and great three-point shooting from J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.PHOTO: REUTERS

Record 20 three-pointers put Cleveland in control with 2-0 lead after struggling early on

CLEVELAND • The Cleveland Cavaliers tied a play-off record with 20 three-pointers in a 107-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 of their National Basketball Association Western Conference play-off series.

The Cavaliers lead the series 2-0 with Game 3 tonight at Detroit.

Cleveland struggled to put away the Pistons in Game 1 and battled again until late in the third quarter.

They trailed by 10 points early and still were behind midway through the third quarter before a Kevin Love three-pointer gave the Cavs the lead for good at 63-62.

Love's basket started a flurry of five three-pointers in the final 6min 49sec of the quarter.

WE EACH HAVE OUR ROLES

We have shooters. They are designated snipers, and that's why we've got them. I am not one of them. I am more like a tank.

LEBRON JAMES, the Cavaliers' star player, on his role in his team's offence.

J.R. Smith's three-pointer in the final minute of the third - his seventh of the game - extended the lead to 82-68 entering the fourth quarter and the Cavs coasted from there.

"Pistons centre Andre Drummond said of Smith: "Everybody knows that when he gets hot, he's going to knock three or four down in a row. It was a little deflating seeing that he was taking those threes and they were contested and he was making them."

The 20 three-pointers were more than the Cavs made in any game during the regular season and made them the fourth team to hit 20 in a post-season game. The most recent was the Golden State Warriors last year.

Smith scored 21 points (all on three-pointers) and Kyrie Irving had 22 points and four assists, including 13 in the first quarter. Love finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds after fighting early foul trouble.

While Smith, Irving and Love continued producing three-pointers, LeBron James, who had 27 points, drove to the basket in a game plan that worked to perfection in the fourth quarter.

"We have shooters. They are designated snipers, and that's why we've got them," James said. "I am not one of them. I am more like a tank."

Meanwhile, Drummond had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Pistons.

After Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy was fined US$25,000 (S$33,600) for complaining about the officiating during Game 1, the calls certainly seemed to favour the Pistons.

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert tweeted at half-time about the free-throw disparity. The Pistons shot 20 free throws in the first half compared to one for the Cavs.

Cleveland shot 14 in the game and the Pistons shot 32. However, the Cavs did not need free throws on a night they made 20 of 38 three-pointers.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2016, with the headline 'Cavs shut down Pistons'. Print Edition | Subscribe