Cavaliers at Pistons
Two teams that have combined for just nine wins meet Monday when the Detroit Pistons host the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pistons have played .500 ball in the last 10 games after starting the season 0-8. Detroit is coming off road losses to Memphis and Dallas by an average of 13.5 points. The Pistons scored 29 points, including a season-low 11 in the third quarter, against the Mavericks on Saturday. Detroit's bench was held to 15 points and shot 7-for-23 from the field.
Cleveland has dropped 11 of 13 and is 2-7 since star point guard Kyrie Irving went out with a broken finger in late November. The Cavaliers have had several close losses in this stretch, but the most difficult one came Saturday when Portland's Nicolas Batum hit a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in the second overtime that handed Cleveland a 118-117 loss. The Cavaliers have played 11 road games, tied for second-most in the league, and have recorded only two wins.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Ohio (Cleveland), Fox Sports Detroit
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (4-13): Center Anderson Varejao scored 19 points and had 17 rebounds for his eighth straight double-double Saturday. Varejao, who is making a strong case to be on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, leads the league in rebounding with a 15.3 average. His latest numbers came despite the fact he sustained a dislocated finger in the first quarter. Varejao is also averaging a career-high 15.1 points.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (5-13): Taking care of the basketball has been a problem for Detroit. The Pistons have committed 38 turnovers in the last two games. The second-half collapse in Dallas can be directly attributed to Detroit's sloppy play. The Pistons committed 13 of their 16 turnovers in the final two quarters. The inability to take care of the ball is a major reason why Detroit is having so many problems offensively. The Pistons are scoring just 93.2 points a game.
1. Pistons center Greg Monroe had an unusual line in the box score Saturday. He missed 10 of his first 11 shots and finished with eight points on 4-for-17 shooting. Monroe also had a game-high 15 rebounds.
2. Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters, the No. 4 pick in the draft, is shooting 36 percent from the field. He left Saturday's game with an ankle injury in the second overtime.
3. The teams split four meetings last season with the Pistons winning the final two games.
Pistons 88, Cavaliers 87.