Samuels, who played in only 37 games last year during an injury-plagued rookie campaign, came off the bench to score 17 points. Ramon Sessions had 16, Antawn Jamison added 15, Kyrie Irving pitched in 14 and both Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao had 10.
Cleveland made 40-of-70 shots from the field and hit 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. The Cavaliers won for the first time this season in their second try.
They had just 19 victories during all of the 2010-11 campaign.
Ben Gordon paced the Pistons with 25 points. Cleveland owned a 10-point lead to begin the fourth quarter and led by as many as 19 points during the closing 12 minutes.