DETROIT (AP) — Kevin Love scored all 20 of his points in the first half, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Detroit Pistons 115-110 on Monday night to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Love, an Olympic teammate of Kobe Bryant’s who played college basketball in Los Angeles at UCLA, made six 3-pointers before halftime. It was the first game for either team since Bryant’s death Sunday in a helicopter crash.
The teams honored Bryant’s two uniform numbers when Cleveland committed a 24-second shot clock violation after the opening tip, and the Pistons gave the ball back with an 8-second violation in the backcourt. Fans observed 24 seconds of silence in Bryant’s honor before the game.
This was the third meeting this month between the Pistons and Cavaliers. They split a home-and-home series Jan. 7 and 9 in a pair of tightly contested games. This one wasn’t nearly as close. Cleveland led 53-45 at halftime, and Love did not even need to attempt a shot in the final 24 minutes.
It was 89-72 after three quarters. Cleveland had not won by double digits since a 108-87 victory at New York on Nov. 10.
Collin Sexton had 23 points for the Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Reggie Jackson led Detroit with 16 points.
The Pistons have been without Blake Griffin (left knee surgery) and were also missing Tony Snell (illness), Derrick Rose (right knee soreness) and Luke Kennard (bilateral knee tendinitis) in this game.
Brandon Knight (left knee soreness) did not play for the Cavaliers.
Cavaliers: Alfonzo McKinnie scored 15 points and Larry Nance Jr. added 10. … Cleveland outscored Detroit 64-42 in the paint.
Pistons: Andre Drummond had 15 points and Svi Mykhailiuk contributed 13.
Cavaliers: Host New Orleans on Tuesday night.
Pistons: At Brooklyn on Wednesday night.
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