CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – For whatever reason, Brandon Knight seems to pick his game up a notch against the Cavaliers.
Saturday night at the Q, Knight scored a career-high 31 points, as Detroit beat the Cavaliers 104-97, dropping Cleveland to 4-17 on the season.
Knight took the game over in the second half, scoring 23 points, leading the Pistons to outscore the Cavs 55-45 to comeback after trailing big in the second quarter as the were up by as many as 10.
“Our guys are competing and playing hard, we just can’t make the mistakes we’ve been having,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said.
The Cavaliers were led by guard Jeremy Pargo, who had 24 points on 10-for-18 shooting. Anderson Varajeo had 16 points and 13 rebounds in 36 minutes.
Knight’s success against the Cavs is nothing new, as Monday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, he scored a team-high 17 points in the Pistons 89-79 win.
The huge number in the stat column was the Cavaliers 14 turnovers that turned into 26 Pistons points.
“Every game it’s pretty much two or three things,” Scott said of his team. “We’ve got to get better to start to slow those things down.”
Detroit hit just one three-point shot in the first half, but got hot from long distance in the second half, hitting eight three pointers.
Trailing 62-54 late in the third quarter, Detroit grabbed the momentum and took a 71-68 lead on Knight’s 3-pointer. Knight scored 10 points in the period and the Pistons took a 76-70 lead into the fourth quarter.
Charlie Villanueva hit a pair of 3-pointers to help the Pistons take a 14-point lead early in the fourth. The Cavaliers cut the lead to 99-95 on Varejao’s free throw with 40.1 seconds left, but Rodney Stuckey’s basket with 18.3 seconds left gave the Pistons a six-point lead.
Cleveland used a 24-7 run in the second quarter to take a 46-36 lead, but Detroit rallied and trailed 52-49 at halftime. The Pistons went ahead 54-52, but the Cavaliers scored 10 straight points for a 62-54 lead.
Stuckey and Maxiell each scored 10 points for Detroit, which committed only nine turnovers.
C.J. Miles scored 15 points while Tyler Zeller added 13 for Cleveland. Varejao’s streak of consecutive double-doubles ended at 10 Friday against Minnesota when he had four points and 14 rebounds.
The Pistons wound up the night shooting 50 percent, going 35-for-75 from the field, and 9-for-15 from three-point range.
Knight’s career night was highlighted by him going 10-for-20 from the field, and hitting 5-for-6 in three-point country.
“He was shooting well and we had a couple of defensive lapses,” Scott said of Knight’s big evening.
With the victory, Detroit improves to 7-15, 2-0 this season against the Cavs.
The Cavs will be back on the court Tuesday night when they take on Kobe Bryant and the 9-11 Los Angeles Lakers.