LeBron James' latest triple-double pushes Cleveland Cavaliers past Detroit Pistons

By The Sports Xchange  |  March 15, 2017 at 12:20 AM
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CLEVELAND -- LeBron James does this all the time. Larry Sanders, not so much.

James posted another triple-double and Sanders saw his first NBA action in more than two years Tuesday night in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 128-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

James finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in 28 minutes, and sat for the fourth quarter.

James, 32, has four triple-doubles this month, including three in his past four games. He compiled a career-high 10 this season and has 52 triple-doubles over 14 seasons -- not counting the playoffs.

"He hasn't done anything different," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "He's almost averaging a triple-double. I think he's averaging 26 (points), nine (assists), and eight (rebounds). That's almost a triple-double every single night. Now he just happens to be getting them on the same night, with rebounds and assists. But he's played the same way, he's been in a great rhythm these last couple months and playing well."

Kyrie Irving was Cleveland's leading scorer with 26 points. Like James, he sat out the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers (44-22) led by 34 when the third quarter was over.

Iman Shumpert contributed a season-high 18 points, and Richard Jefferson added 16 points. Cleveland had seven players score in double figures.

Sanders, who was signed by the Cavs on Monday and wasn't supposed to play until he got in shape in the NBA Development League over a coming period of about 10 days, got in the game and logged two minutes.

Lue said he needed to get permission from general manager David Griffin to put Sanders in at the end, which he obtained by sending a ball boy into the stands to ask him.

"He said he had two minutes," Lue said. "I really just wanted to introduce him to the crowd and have him get in, give him a chance to have a standing ovation. I thought it was good for him."

The Pistons (33-34) were led by 17 points from Tobias Harris. Reggie Jackson, who scored at least 19 points in four of his previous five games, shot 3 of 13 and finished with six points.

Cleveland avenged a 106-101 loss to the Pistons on March 9. The Cavs made 19 3-pointers, well short of the NBA-record 25 treys they sank March 3 but good enough for the most 3-pointers Detroit has allowed this season.

"It was just a bad night," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "They were great, we were terrible. That is why you get a lopsided game."

The Cavs scored 44 points in the opening quarter while going 7 of 7 from 3-point range. They made their first 10 3-point attempts overall and were 11 of 14 from 3-point range at the end of the first half. Cleveland opened the game shooting 23 of 26 from the field, making its first six shots of the second quarter.

"In the first quarter, I don't think took a single tough shot. Not one," Van Gundy said. "You want them to shoot contested jump shots but we just weren't with them. Their energy and pace was great, they knocked down shots. That game was over early."

Irving scored 15 points in the first quarter, and Cleveland's 44 points were the second-most in a period this season. The Cavs led by 26 at the end of the first half.

Cleveland wound up 19 of 30 from 3-point range, while Detroit was 4 of 19.

NOTES: Cavaliers GM David Griffin said F Kevin Love (knee surgery) may play at some point on Cleveland's four-game road trip that starts Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers. Love's original timetable for return was six weeks -- Tuesday was four weeks, so he is ahead of schedule. ... New Cavaliers F/C Larry Sanders hasn't played pro basketball in two years because of personal issues that forced him away from the sport. ... The 44 points the Pistons allowed in the first quarter were tied for the most they gave up in any quarter this season.

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