Cavs Routed By Pistons, Varejao Ejected, LeBron Sprains Ankle
Hide the women and children.
In a preview of a matchup against their would-be second round playoff opponent, the Cavaliers were humiliated 96-73 by the Detroit Pistons last night in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
The Cavs were without LeBron James for the final quarter, but the game had long been decided by that point. LeBron went down hard on a drive to the basket late in the third quarter, limping off to the locker room not to return. After the game, James said “It’s sprained pretty good, but nothing serious. You never really know till the next day, but I’ve had them before and this is nothing bad.” The Cavaliers released a statement late last night saying James was “day-to-day”. It’s unlikely he plays tonight, with the Cavaliers playoff fate already sealed as the #4 seed in the East.
Five straight points by LeBron actually gave the Cavs a 19-16 lead in this one before things got ugly, figuratively and then literally. The Pistons went on a 21-4 run to blow the game wide open, giving them a 37-23 lead, when Anderson Varejao assaulted Rasheed Wallace, resulting in an immediate ejection for the Brazilian fan favorite. ‘Sheed drove hard to the lane, and Varejao gave him a violent two hand foul across the head and shoulders, shoving Wallace down to the ground after the initial contact. After a couple minutes of pandering to the crowd, and harsh words for the Cavaliers bench, the Piston rout continued. Clearly, the Cavaliers have not forgotten about Raheed’s hard foul on Z earlier in the season, and are still looking to send a message to both the Pistons, and local media types (this corner included) that lashed out at them afterwards for being a soft team.
The Pistons went on to secure a 56-29 halftime lead, then basically played the Cavs even in the second half, cruising to an easy win in a game LeBron James called “a statement game for both of us” before the contest. They were dominated in all aspects, shooting just 35% from the floor and 2-16 from three. They committed 15 turnovers and created just 9, and allowed the Pistons to rack up 24 assists, many on easy buckets.
The Cavs host the Knicks tonight at The Q, and have just four games remaining in the regular season. The playoffs begin a week from Saturday and the Cavs will face the Washington Wizards in the 1st round. Stay tuned to Swerb’s Blurbs for the most complete playoff coverage of our beloved Cavaliers.