Published February 21, 2012
| Associated Press
CLEVELAND – Antawn Jamison scored 32 points and rookie Kyrie Irving led Cleveland's comeback from a 17-point deficit with 17 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Cavaliers to a 101-100 win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.
Alonzo Gee, who scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, put the Cavaliers ahead for good, 97-95, by rebounding his own miss with a dunk with 25.4 seconds left. Irving, who scored 25 points, and Gee combined for 30 of Cleveland's 35 points in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland, which trailed 72-55 late in the third quarter, ended Detroit's three-game winning streak. Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 24 points while Greg Monroe had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Irving, whose two free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining gave the Cavaliers a one-point win over Sacramento on Sunday, came through again in the clutch. The 19-year-old point guard, who was the No. 1 pick in the draft, hit two 3-pointers that sparked Cleveland's run and cut the lead to 80-76 early in the fourth quarter.
Gee scored five points to to pull the Cavaliers within two before Irving found a wide-open Jamison in the corner for a 3-pointer to give Cleveland an 86-85 lead with 5:53 to play. Rodney Stuckey's two free throws regained the lead for Detroit, but Irving's 3-pointer from the top of the key and a left-handed layup in the lane put Cleveland ahead 91-87.
Irving poked the ball away on Detroit's next possession and flipped the ball to Gee, whose dunk put Cleveland ahead by six with 3:09 to play. Detroit responded with five straight points before Irving's basket put the Cavaliers ahead 95-92.
Knight's 3-pointer tied the score with 1:02 to play, but Gee rebounded his own miss with a dunk that put Cleveland ahead for good.
Ben Gordon missed on a layup attempt and Irving hit two free throws with 11.2 seconds remaining gave Cleveland a 99-95 lead. Gordon's layup cut the lead two two, but Daniel Gibson, who missed the previous two games with a sprained ankle, hit two free throws with 2.4 seconds left.
Gordon's 3-pointer at the buzzer left Detroit one point short.
The contest was a bruising affair with players from both teams hitting the floor on several occasions. Gee and Cavaliers center Semih Erden were both taken to the locker room after sustaining facial injuries in the first quarter, but both returned shortly before halftime. Erden was poked above the right eye by Jamison while the two were going for a rebound and needed four stitches to close the cut. Gee suffered a nose contusion after being hit by a forearm from the Pistons' Tayshaun Prince while he was driving to the basket.
Monore was elbowed in the nose by the Cavaliers' Omri Casspi in the third quarter. He was treated by Detroit's trainer and remained in the game.
Monroe was given a technical foul for protesting a foul call in the third quarter.
The Pistons had won seven of nine coming in after a seven-game losing streak. The Pistons were trying to win three straight road games for the first time since 2009.
Irving and Tristan Thompson will represent the Cavaliers in the rookie/sophomore game as part of All-Star weekend in Orlando. Irving will also particpate in the Skills Challenge. Knight and Monroe will also play in the rookie/sophomore game.
NOTES: Both teams play their final game before the All-Star break on Wednesday. The Pistons play in Toronto while the Cavaliers host New Orleans. ... Cleveland signed G Manny Harris to a 10-day contract. He had been playing with Canton of the NBA Development League, averaging 21.4 points. Harris played in 54 games last season for the Cavs. ... Cleveland G Anthony Parker missed his 11th straight game because of back spasms.