Cleveland Cavaliers (59-25) at Detroit Pistons (44-39)
NBA Basketball: Friday, April 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm (The Palace of Auburn Hills)
The Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers collide in Game 3 on Friday at The Palace.
It is a celebration of a 44-win season that Pistons fans have waited seven years to see but comes against an onerous backdrop, a 2-0 deficit against the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in a first-round playoff series.
Detroit Pistons do not fear the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have a young, talented team that is tremendously coached.
The Pistons are giving the Cavs a real series and the team is responding. Despite questions about whether or not the Cavs were capable of flipping the switch in the playoffs, the Cavs have got out to a 2-0 series lead with impressive wins. Last season the Cavs were in a tight series with the Boston Celtics, and even though they swept them, the margin of victory for every game but the first one was eight. This Detroit team is much better than last year’s Celtics and game two was the largest margin of victory in round one for LeBron since he returned to Cleveland. This Cavs team is deeper, healthier and should be better this season and they are finally showing signs of that.
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The Cavaliers will be satisfied with their 2-0 series lead after taking down the Pistons by 107-90 on Wednesday. LeBron James led the charge with 27 points on 12 of 18 shooting, Kyrie Irving added 22 points with four assists while Kevin Love double-doubled with 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Cavaliers dominated the second half by 52-37 to pull away and hold onto home-court advantage. As a team, the Cavs shot 50 percent from the field and a ridiculous 20 of 38 from the 3-point line thanks largely in part to JR Smith who connected on seven treys en route to 21 points which really broke the backs of the Pistons, especially in the second half.
The Pistons really wanted to keep the pressure on with a win on Wednesday but they just didn’t have the weapons to keep up the pace with the Cavaliers. Andre Drummond had a solid game of 20 points but made just four of 16 free throw attempts, Reggie Jackson added 14 points with six assists while Tobias Harris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope eached scored 13 points, but while the Cavs were doing a great job of finding the open shooter for the three, the Pistons struggled mightily from distance as they made just four of 17 three-point attempts.
In ATS trends, the Cavs are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 Conference Quarterfinals games and 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win of more than 10 points, while the Pistons are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games following a loss and 1-5 ATS in their last six Conference Quarterfinals games.
Head to head, the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and the over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.