Central Division rivals in search of their first win of the season meet at The Palace Wednesday when the Pistons host the Cavaliers in Detroit's home opener.
Cleveland dropped its home opener to Toronto on Monday, 104-96. The Cavaliers, of course, were playing their first game with rookie guard Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in June's draft. The Duke product started, but struggled mightily in just over 26 minutes of floor time, shooting only 2-of-12 and scoring six points. He did, however, total seven assists to only one turnover.
"It's disappointing. You want to play really well. The whole world's watching," Irving said. "You want to play well for your teammates at the end of the day, but like I said, it's a learning process."
Ramon Sessions scored 18 points off the bench to lead Cleveland, which trailed for most of the game, but drew within a possession multiple times in the fourth quarter.
"I thought we took a little bit of a step back on the defensive end after what we've been doing for the last couple weeks," said Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott. "Thought we had a little bit of lack of trust and communication."
Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey each finished with 17 points for the Pistons, who have endured three consecutive losing seasons since appearing in six straight Eastern Conference Finals between 2003-2008.
Indiana outrebounded Detroit, 53-40.
"They crashed the boards hard tonight," Jerebko said. "But we knew that from the beginning, we need to give a better effort than that, a lot better than what we showed today."
Cleveland has won two straight and nine of 11 overall versus the Pistons.