AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Kyrie Irving’s 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 27.2 seconds remaining lifted the Cavaliers to a 93-89 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
Tristan Thompson scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for Cleveland, overpowering Detroit’s vaunted front line as the Cavs rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final period.
Cleveland (20-33) has won four straight — its longest streak since winning eight in a row from March 8-24, 2010 — and snapped the Pistons’ three-game winning streak.
Cleveland beat the Pistons for the first time in eight meetings.
Andre Drummond had 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons, but he didn’t do much in the fourth quarter, when Thompson took control inside.
Cleveland led by one in the final minute when Irving stepped back and made his big 3-pointer to put the Cavs ahead 89-85.
Detroit was playing its second game under interim coach John Loyer after Maurice Cheeks was fired Sunday, and this was a repeat of the problems the Pistons have had all season at home. Detroit has lost six games at The Palace when leading after three quarters.
It was 76-66 in the fourth when the Cavs cut into the lead with an 8-0 run capped by Thompson’s dunk off a nice pass from Irving. Detroit tried to hold on, but Irving made two free throws with 2:06 remaining, giving Cleveland its first lead of the game at 82-81.
Josh Smith spun to the basket for a dunk to put the Pistons back ahead, but Thompson came up with an offensive rebound and dunked to put the Cavs up 84-83. After Smith missed inside, a put-back dunk by Thompson made it 86-83.
Kyle Singler cut Cleveland’s lead to one when he made two free throws with 51.4 seconds left, but with the Cavs’ next possession seemingly going nowhere, Irving found enough space to make his second 3-pointer of the game and Detroit never recovered.
Irving finished with 23 points, while Thompson had seven of his 15 rebounds in the fourth quarter.
Drummond had 10 offensive rebounds, but the Pistons’ poor outside shooting finally caught up to them. Detroit went 9-for-38 outside the paint, including 4-for-23 from 3-point range.
Rodney Stuckey was limited to 12 minutes for Detroit because of dizziness, while Cleveland was without Anderson Varejao, who sat out a second straight game with a sore back.
Cavs rookie Anthony Bennett, who had his first career double-double on Tuesday in a win over Sacramento, scored two points against Detroit, while Drummond had only two points and two rebounds in the fourth quarter.