Auburn Hills, Michigan – After getting sucker punched on Boxing Day by the Toronto Raptors, 104-96 in their home opener, the Cleveland Cavaliers would pick themselves up of the mat and answer the bell up in Detroit.
Led by a more noticeable defensive effort and solid contributions from the bench, (1-1) Cleveland would win it’s first road game of the 2011-12 season with a 105-89 win in Detroit.
The Cavaliers would have six players in double digits—three of whom were off the bench—led by forward Samardo Samuels 17 points, guard Ramon Sessions 16 points and rookie forward Tristan Thompson’s ten points.
Thompson would also have three blocks.
Starting forward Antwan Jamieson would score 15 and center Anderson Varejao would add ten points.
Rookie point guard Kyrie Irving looked and played much more like the number one overall pick as he would score 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.
Irving would also have four rebounds and seven assists.
Cleveland’s defense would force 21 turnovers and nine steals and managed to hold the (0-2) Pistons to 36 percent shooting.
After losing by eight at home 48 hours ago, the Cavaliers looked and played like a completely different team as they would get 56 points from the bench and a more dedicated effort on defending the pick-and-roll and cutting towards the basket.
One area that looks much improved for the Cavaliers in Detroit as opposed to Cleveland’s opening-season loss at home was the play of the bench and the play of the second unit of Sessions, Daniel Gibson, Samuels and Thompson.
Bench play and depth will be key for the young Cavaliers in 2011-12, if tonight’s 16-point win on the road is any indication, then Cleveland has the makings of something special.
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