By Noah Trister
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Brandon Knight scored 17 points, Kyle Singler and Tayshaun Prince had 15 apiece and the Detroit Pistons beat the Cavaliers 89-79 Monday night for their fifth straight home win.
Detroit is 1-10 on the road but 5-3 at home, and the Pistons have recovered a bit after losing their first eight games of the season. They beat Phoenix by 40 last week in their previous home game, and the victory over Cleveland wasn’t really as close as the final score indicated.
Detroit led 56-39 at halftime after holding the Cavs to 29 percent shooting.
Already minus Kyrie Irving, who has a fractured left index finger, Cleveland was without guard Dion Waiters, who sat out with a sprained left ankle.
Anderson Varejao had 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavs. It was his ninth straight double-double and ninth straight game with at least 15 rebounds, the latter a club record.
Varejao averaged 18.5 points and 18.8 rebounds in Cleveland’s four games last week, but was bypassed for Eastern Conference Player of the Week in favor of New York’s Carmelo Anthony, who averaged 30.0 points and 8.0 boards. The big difference was Cleveland went just 1-3, while the Knicks were 3-1.
The Cavs had scored 113 and 117 points in their previous two games, but the Pistons shut them down for the most part. Jason Maxiell and rookie Andre Drummond set the tone on a night when Detroit blocked 13 shots. The Cavs struggled to convert around the basket, and they went 3-for-20 from 3-point range.
A dunk by Maxiell put the Pistons ahead 14-4, and it was 30-17 after the first quarter.
Rodney Stuckey’s layup off a nice pass from Knight made it 49-27, and although Cleveland chipped away at the deficit, Stuckey’s floater to end the third quarter made it 75-63.
The Cavs cut it to six on two free throws by Varejao with 1:54 remaining, but they didn’t score again.
Cleveland had 33 second-chance points in Saturday’s 118-117 loss to Portland, but had only 14 against the Pistons.
Greg Monroe had nine points and 14 rebounds for Detroit. Maxiell had 12 points, six rebounds and five blocks.
Drummond had seven points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. In the fourth quarter, he grabbed an offensive rebound, flipped a pass to Charlie Villanueva for a dunk and then skipped gleefully back down the court.
Cleveland shot 34 percent from the field for the game. Jeremy Pargo, Omri Casspi and Tristan Thompson had 10 points each for the Cavs, who started Alonzo Gee in place of Waiters at shooting guard and put Casspi into Gee’s spot at small forward.