Pistons-Cavaliers Preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing their best basketball at

home, while the Detroit Pistons have been red-hot on the road over

the past month.

The Cavaliers, winners of five of their last six at Quicken

Loans Arena, will try to snap a six-game losing streak against

Detroit when they host the Pistons on Monday night.

The Cavs (10-16) have been far better at home compared to the

road, losing only once in Cleveland in December – a 119-116 defeat

against Portland on Tuesday.

Over their six home games this month, the Cavaliers have

averaged 103.7 points. They’ve been scoring at a pretty healthy

clip since Dec. 10, putting up at least 107 in five straight

overall prior to a 100-84 loss at Chicago on Saturday.

That defeat was more emblematic of their scoring on the road,

where they average 92.2.

Cleveland has reached the century mark in three straight home

games after doing it only once in its first nine – and that 127-125

win over Philadelphia went to two overtimes.

Kyrie Irving has led the way during the recent home stretch,

averaging 27.2 points and 7.2 assists over his past six in

Cleveland. He’s scoring a team-high 21.5 points per game overall

this season.

Cleveland fell off its recent scoring pace against the Bulls,

matching a season worst with a 22.2 percent performance from

3-point range (4 of 18).

“It’s part of our growth as a young team,” Irving said. “We have

not had success (on the road) yet, we just have to learn how to win


Detroit (13-16), which has won three straight in Cleveland, has

been trending in the opposite direction. While they’ve struggled to

a 6-10 mark at home – dropping five of their last six – the Pistons

have won six of their previous seven on the road.

Two of those victories were rather impressive. The Pistons won

107-97 at two-time defending champion Miami on Dec. 3 and also

handed the Indiana Pacers their first home loss after an 11-0 start

with a 101-96 victory last Monday.

Detroit, however, enters this contest riding a two-game skid –

with both losses coming in a back-to-back at the Palace of Auburn


Following a 116-106 defeat against Charlotte on Friday, the

Pistons shot 1 for 12 from long range and failed to reach 100

points for the first time in seven games with a 114-97 loss to

Houston the next night.

Josh Smith scored 19 points for Detroit, which allowed 62 points

in the paint – including a season-high 35 for Dwight Howard.

Playing in the weak Eastern Conference has certainly helped the

Pistons despite their inconsistent play. Detroit remains in second

place in the Central Division, though it trails the Pacers by 9 1/2


“We are still trying to get better, night in and night out,”

coach Maurice Cheeks said. “As I said to our players, there will be

some nights when we will have good nights; there will be some

nights when we have bad nights. We have to regroup, take our time

and get ready for Cleveland.”