Labour of Love helps Cavs sink Pistons

Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates a first half basket with Dwyane Wade against the Detroit Pistons

Kevin Love led the scoring with 19 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers notched a fifth straight victory with a 116-88 blowout on the road against the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Love, who had 11 rebounds and four assists, was backed by LeBron James, who had 18 points and eight rebounds in just 27 minutes on the court as Cleveland improved to 10-7.

Jae Crowder also weighed in with a double-digit score, adding 18 points, along with Jose Calderon, who contributed 14 points.

The Cavs were always in control against a Pistons team who had started the game with an impressive 11-5 record.

By the end of the third quarter, Cleveland had jumped out to a 39-point lead as the Pistons’ run of six consecutive home victories came to an end.

James said the Cavs had been determined to make a statement in what was the clearest sign yet that the 2016 NBA champions have shaken off their early-season torpor.

“I just wanted to keep the pedal down,” James said of the big win.

“We haven’t had a win like this in a very long time. We come out sometimes in the third quarter and have a slow start and teams get back into it.

“But today, we just kept it going. That’s a pretty big step for us.”

Tobias Harris led the Pistons scoring with 11 points with Reggie Jackson and Stanley Johnson each adding 10 apiece.

Andre Drummond, who had averaged 12 or more rebounds per game since the start of the season, was held to eight rebounds. Drummond also had to settle for only eight points while giving up six turnovers.

Cleveland took control of the game with some deadly accurate three-point shooting, making 11 of 17 attempts in the first half to power them into a 73-46 lead.

Their lead had extended to 30 by early in the third quarter and had increased to 101-62 as the fourth quarter began.

“We just have been playing well of late,” James said. “We’re in a good groove right now, and we wanted to try to continue that coming in here today.

“They’ve been playing extremely good basketball … We knew they were going to come out and try to give us their best shot, and we had to be ready for that.

“But we just had a lot of flurries. We had a lot of flurries and we didn’t stop.”

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy chalked up the defeat to a bad night at the office.

“For most teams in this league, there’s three, four, five of those games a year,” Van Gundy said.

“Tonight was one of them. We didn’t play well at either end, we made mistakes and they played terrifically.”

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