CLEVELAND -- J.R. Smith sat down at the podium Wednesday night and looked at the stats sheet in amazement. Even a fearless shooter like Smith was surprised at the numbers.
"We took 38 threes?" Smith asked no one in particular? "Damn."
Smith made seven of the Cavaliers' NBA-playoff-record-tying 20 3-pointers, and Cleveland smashed the Detroit Pistons 107-90 in Game 2 of the teams' first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
The Cavs take a 2-0 lead to Detroit for Game 3 on Friday.
LeBron James scored 27 points, but the Cavs struggled to put away the Pistons just as they had in Game 1. Cleveland trailed by 10 early in the game Wednesday and still trailed midway through the third before a Kevin Love 3-pointer gave the Cavs the lead for good at 63-62.
Love's basket started a flurry of five 3-pointers over the final 6:49 of the quarter. Smith's 3-pointer in the final minute of the third -- his seventh of the game -- extended the lead to 82-68 entering the fourth, and the Cavs coasted to an easy victory.
Cleveland became the fourth team in postseason history to make 20 3-pointers in a game, the most recent being the Golden State Warriors last year. The Cavs' most 3-pointers during the regular season was 18.
While Smith (21 points), Love (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Kyrie Irving (22 points and four assists) kept hoisting 3-pointers, James kept attacking the rim. The combination proved unstoppable in the second half.
"We have shooters. They are designated snipers, and that's why we've got them," James said. "I am not one of them. I am more like a tank."
Andre Drummond had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Pistons, and Reggie Jackson had 14 points and six assists, although he managed just one basket in the second half. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tobias Harris scored 13 points apiece.
After Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy was fined $25,000 for complaining about the officiating during Game 1, the calls certainly seemed to favor the Pistons on Wednesday.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert tweeted at halftime about the fre-throw disparity: The Pistons shot 20 free throws in the first half compared to just one for Cleveland. The Cavs shot 14 for the game, while the Pistons shot 32. The Cavs didn't need free throws on a night they were red hot from long range.
"We had stretches in the game both in the second and third quarter where their runs took our minds for about three minutes at a time," Van Gundy said. "We stopped doing what we were supposed to do, especially on the defensive end of the floor, and made a lot of mistakes."
A large part of the reason for the early free-throw disparity was the Pistons making a better effort to play through Drummond. Van Gundy conceded he didn't put Drummond in positions to succeed enough in Game 1, so the team made more of an effort to involve its All-Star center early in Game 2.
It worked -- for a while. Drummond forced both Tristan Thompson and Love to the bench in the first quarter with two fouls each. Thompson didn't play the rest of the half because Cavs coach Tyronn Lue -- after nine unproductive minutes with Timofey Mozgov to close the first quarter -- used shooters like Love and Channing Frye at center in the second quarter. That pulled Drummond away from the basket defensively.
"I knew coming into the series (Love playing center) would be something I thought would work for us," Lue said.
The Pistons raced out to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter when Irving was the only Cavs player who could make a shot. Irving scored 13 of Cleveland's first 15 points to begin the game, then didn't score the rest of the half.
Detroit shot 51 percent in the first half but cooled to just 36 percent in the second half. The Pistons have totaled just 80 points in the second halves of the first two games in this series.
"It was a rough one," Drummond said. "We started off strong, but that team took it to another level in the second and third quarter. We couldn't handle their intensity. ...
"We need this one Friday. We need to shake off these ones."
NOTES: Cleveland G Mo Williams was inactive again for Game 2. Williams has been battling a left knee injury for months, and the Cavs were previously hopeful he would be available. ... Cavs F LeBron James played in his 180th career postseason game Wednesday, moving him ahead of Michael Jordan and into a tie with Dennis Johnson for 16th in history. "He closed out series faster than me," James joked of Jordan. ... Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy seemed to make mention of his $25,000 fine as he concluded his pregame media session Wednesday. "I don't think I got in trouble with that interview," he joked. Van Gundy was fined for making critical comments about the officiating. ... Van Gundy also poked fun at his own fashion after Sports Illustrated last week published a list of the 50 most fashionable in sports. "I got (cheated) and I want to make this clear," he said. "The fact I wasn't on that list is a travesty. I'm known for my fashion, am I not? C'mon. I was very disappointed."