The Cleveland Cavaliers will return home to Northeast Ohio as their Central Division rivals, the Detroit Pistons, come to town for the third meeting between these teams this season. The current season series is tied at 1-1.
Cleveland will have a tough matchup against Detroit big man Andre Drummond. The first-time All-Star is averaging 16.9 points and a league leading 14.9 rebounds a game this season, according to NBA.com. Drummond is averaging 22.5 points and 13 rebounds in his previous matches against the Cavaliers this season.
Following A Back-To-Back
Both teams will be playing the second game of a back-to-back, as Cleveland and Detroit both had 3:30 tip-offs on Sunday afternoon.
The Cavaliers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in an impressive 115-92 win on the road to improve to 40-14 on the season. LeBron James, who had 25 points and 11 assists, and Kevin Love, who had 29 points and 11 rebounds, led the Cavaliers to their fifth straight win.
The Pistons dropped a game at home to the New Orleans Pelicans. Anthony Davis scored a polarizing 59 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to help lead the Pelicans to a win in Detroit. Reggie Jackson had 34 points and Drummond grabbed 14 rebounds for the Pistons in the loss, which puts them at 27-29, and another game behind the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavaliers and Pistons have already met twice this season, once early in the season on November 17th, and then again only a few weeks ago on January 29th. Both of the prior meetings took place in the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, however this time the Pistons will travel to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, where the Cavaliers are 23-4 this season.
In the first meeting between these teams, Detroit was able to notch a 104-99 win at home, led by the All-Star Drummond who filled the stat sheet, scoring 25 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. In addition to his 25 points, Drummond drilled crucial free throws towards the end of the game to help clinch the victory. Detroit also got great contributions from Jackson who chipped in 23 points and 12 assists, and Erson Ilyasova, who is no longer with the team, dropped in 20 points. James had 30 points for Cleveland in the loss.
Cleveland came back to Detroit with a vengeance in their second meeting, as they secured a 114-106 win. The Cavaliers were led to the victory by Love, who scored 29 points on the night. Kyrie Irving, who did not play in the first meeting because of injury, added 28 points. Tristan Thompson was also big for the Cavaliers, grabbing 14 rebounds.
The statuses for Mo Williams and Iman Shumpert, who both sat out with injuries Sunday, and Irving who left the game early with flu like symptoms are currently unknown for Monday's game. Additionally, Cleveland’s Channing Frye and Detroit’s Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thorton, who were all acquired in trade deadline deals, have not yet been cleared to play, according to ESPN.
The game will tip Monday, February 22 at 7:00 PM ET on League Pass.