Drummond, Monroe lead Pistons past Cavs 111-104

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013
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CLEVELAND (AP) — One struggling team was bound to get some good news Wednesday night.

Detroit coach Lawrence Frank was happy to have something positive to talk about following the Pistons' 111-104 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"These are the guys we're building around, and we've got to fight for them," Frank said. "I have confidence in them, which is why I felt comfortable leaving them out there."

Andre Drummond scored a career-high 29 points and the Pistons won a second straight game for the first time in two months.

Greg Monroe's basket with 38.8 seconds remaining gave Detroit a 105-103 lead and the Pistons, who hadn't won consecutive games since Feb. 8-9, swept the four-game season series from the Cavaliers. Detroit has beaten Cleveland six straight times.

Drummond, who spent most of the fourth quarter at the free throw line after Cleveland coach Byron Scott chose to intentionally foul the 34 percent shooter, also grabbed 11 rebounds. Monroe scored 23 points and Rodney Stuckey added 18.

Kyrie Irving scored 27 points, including 21 in the second half, but missed a 3-pointer that would have given the Cavaliers the lead with 21 seconds left. The All-Star guard was playing on the second night of back-to-back games for the first time since returning from a shoulder injury. Irving committed two turnovers in the final 2:12 and missed a free throw with 16 seconds remaining.

"I was obviously a little fatigued just like everyone else on the floor, but that's no excuse for not executing," he said.

Both teams have been in recent tailspins, leading to speculation that the two coaches could be replaced at the end of the season. The Pistons have just four wins in their last 19 games and are 6-19 since the All-Star break. The Cavaliers have lost 12 of 14.

Drummond was 8 of 14 at the line in the fourth quarter and made two free throws to give Detroit a 101-99 lead with 2:06 to play. His tip-in put Detroit up by four, but Tristan Thompson scored on a drive and Irving's basket with 44 seconds remaining tied the game.

Drummond, who was 9 of 17 from the line for the game, wasn't surprised at the Cavaliers' strategy.

"I knew I needed to make them for us to win, so I just focused at the line," he said. "Some went in, some went out, but all of them were on line. It gives me more points. That's the way you've got to look at it. It gave me a chance to work on my free throws."