Detroit Pistons beat Cleveland Cavaliers in 106-101 thriller

Mar 9, 2017; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) puts his arm around guard Reggie Jackson (1) after a play during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons won 106-101. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2017; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) puts his arm around guard Reggie Jackson (1) after a play during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons won 106-101. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-101 on Thursday night in a thrilling game that featured a number of crazy runs by both teams and the Reggie Jackson we saw frequently last season.

The Detroit Pistons (32-33) handed the Cleveland Cavaliers (42-21) their third-straight loss on Thursday night, and you really missed out if you didn’t catch this one. Detroit’s wild 106-101 victory featured a number of insane runs by both teams, a handful of highlight plays, and a fourth quarter dominated by  Reggie Jackson and the Pistons.

The cliché “game of runs” doesn’t even do this one justice. First, the Cavs ripped off a 20-2 eruption during the first quarter to take a commanding 27-12 lead. But  Ish Smith and the Pistons countered with a 10-2 spurt to close the first quarter and a 10-0 run to end the second, giving the Pistons the lead at the half.

Detroit had their lead up to 10 in the middle of the third quarter, but guess what happened next? Cleveland scored 11 unanswered in the blink of an eye and went on to close the third quarter on a 22-5 run.

But the Pistons had the last laugh. They went on a 13-0 run to kick off the fourth quarter, led by Jackson and Andre Drummond, en route to outscoring the Cavs 33-21 across the final frame.

So, yeah, this game was nuts. And I haven’t even mentioned the seven crazy  LeBron James‘ dunks, the ridiculousness of Kyrie Irving in the first quarter or Jackson in the fourth, and the fact that  Marcus Morris went on a profanity-laced tirade to jump start the Pistons when they were down 15. This game had everything, so do yourself a favor and go check out the highlights if you missed it.

The win, which is even more impressive considering the Pistons were on the second night of a back-to-back while Cleveland was rested, moves Detroit into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. It also pushes them to 11-6 over their last 17 and gives them a 2-1 season series edge over the Cavs, with the final edition coming next week. Now for the grades.

A. Did we go back in time to last season? Because Reggie Jackson’s fourth quarter tonight was a thing of beauty. Jackson played all 12 minutes and made all the right plays, compiling 12 points and four assists in the final stanza as he led the Pistons to victory – one he fittingly iced with two free throws with four seconds left. He also provided great defensive effort all night long.. PG. Detroit Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON

C. KCP spent the night trying to contain Kyrie Irving, but Cleveland did what they could to induce switches to take him out of the equation. Caldwell-Pope was still Detroit’s leading scorer at the half and hit four threes, but he largely failed to impact the game in other areas.. SG. Detroit Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

B. According to SVG in his post-game presser, Morris took control of the huddle with the team down 27-12 in the first quarter, challenging guys to step up. It seemed to have worked. While Morris struggled to defend LeBron James and didn’t have his shot going, he still positively affected the game in multiple ways and finished with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.. SF. Detroit Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS

<a rel=. PF. Detroit Pistons. TOBIAS HARRIS. C-

We got the active and engaged Andre Drummond tonight, who finished with 20 points, 16 rebounds and four assists. Drummond was all over the floor, showing unbelievable hustle, effort and energy on the glass and on defense, particularly in the fourth quarter. He also made some excellent passes after catching the ball on his roll. If he consistently brought that skill, Detroit’s offense is capable of reaching new heights.. C. Detroit Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND. A+

Detroit Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON. B+. <a rel=. SF

Detroit Pistons. ISH SMITH. B+. Jackson may have finished the job, but Smith was the one who got it started in the first half. The Pistons were reeling, down by as much as 15 in the first quarter, but Smith helped the team rattle off a 10-2 run to close the opening frame, capped by a three he banked in at the buzzer. He went back to work in the second quarter, where the Pistons closed with a 10-0 run to take the lead at the break. Smith finished with 11 points, three rebounds, and three assists in the first half, but only got six minutes of run in the second due to Jackson’s great finish.. PG

Detroit Pistons. REGGIE BULLOCK. C+. Surprise, surprise. <a rel=. SG/SF

F. <a rel=. PF. Detroit Pistons. JON LEUER

F. During Baynes’ two minutes of playing time in the third, <a rel=. C. Detroit Pistons. ARON BAYNES

Stan Van Gundy did a fine job tonight. He started Harris so the team better matched up with the Cavaliers. SVG also had the guys force LeBron to shoot from distance rather than drive to the hole whenever possible. He called a time out and pulled the plug on Baynes when Cleveland stole back the momentum. And he abandoned the Jackson-Smith six-on, six-off platoon to let Jackson finish the game after he got it going.. Head Coach. Detroit Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY. B+

This was perhaps the win of the year for the Detroit Pistons, who will be back in action Saturday when they take on the Knicks at home.