Cavs rout Pistons 122-100, fall short of playoffs

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm •  Published: April 9, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) — Their playoff chase, which somehow lasted longer that it probably should have, is officially over.

The Cavaliers came up short.

On a night when they finally put it all together, their hopes crumbled.

Dion Waiters scored 22 points and the Cavs played one of their best games this season, routing the Detroit Pistons 122-100 on Wednesday before being eliminated from the playoff race.

Tyler Zeller scored 18 and rookie Matthew Dellavedova had 14 points and 12 assists for Cleveland, which had its slim playoff hopes ended when Atlanta defeated Boston 105-97.

"It's an empty feeling now that your chances are done," said All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who has missed the postseason in each of his three years in the NBA. "You think about things you could have done, you should have done. It's inevitable, especially as big a competitor as I am. It's definitely going to be on my mind.

"You always want to compete for something as special as the playoffs, but our chances were snapped tonight. It's disappointing."

As the Hawks were rallying to take down the Celtics, the Cavs played with passion and purpose — two things missing too often earlier this season. Spencer Hawes added 15 points for the Cavs, who led by 32 at half and rolled to one of their best all-around performances in what has been an otherwise disappointing season.

Cleveland set a team record with 26 assists in the first half and finished with a season-high 41.

But the Cavs will watch the playoffs, and spend the months ahead thinking about games they let slip away, losses that came back to haunt them.

"We put ourselves in this hole," said coach Mike Brown, who returned for a second stint with the club after being fired in 2010. "I wish we could have a couple of those games back from early on. I can't fault anybody but ourselves."

Brandon Jennings scored 17 after missing his first 10 shots for the Pistons, who played their second game in a row without forward Josh Smith, sidelined with knee tendinitis. Jonas Jerebko added 17 points for Detroit, which was coming off a surprising win in Atlanta.

"They outplayed us and outworked us," Pistons interim coach John Loyer said of the Cavs. "We were embarrassed in the first half. This is an unforgiving league, and they didn't care that we beat Atlanta last night."

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