LeBron James scored 27 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers tied an NBA playoff record with 20 3-pointers in a 107-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday in Game 2 of an NBA Western Conference playoff series.
The Cavaliers lead the series 2-0 with Game 3 on Friday night at Detroit.
The Cavs struggled to put away the Pistons in Game 1 and struggled again until late in the third quarter.
They trailed by 10 points early and still were behind midway through the third quarter before a Kevin Love 3-pointer gave Cleveland the lead for good at 63-62.
Love’s basket started a flurry of five 3-pointers in the final 6:49 of the quarter.
J.R. Smith’s 3-pointer in the final minute of the third – his seventh of the game – extended the lead to 82-68 entering the fourth quarter and the Cavs coasted from there.
The 20 3-pointers were more than the Cavs made in any game during the regular season and made them the fourth team to hit 20 in a postseason game. The most recent was the Golden State Warriors last year.
Smith scored 21 points (all on 3-pointers) and Kyrie Irving had 22 points and four assists, including 13 in the first quarter. Love finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds after fighting early foul trouble.
Andre Drummond had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Pistons.
Reggie Jackson contributed 14 points and six assists, although he managed just one basket in the second half. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 13 points.
After Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy was fined $25 000 for complaining about the officiating during Game 1, the calls certainly seemed to favour the Pistons.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert tweeted at halftime about the free throw disparity. The Pistons shot 20 free throws in the first half compared with one for the Cavs.
Cleveland shot 14 in the game and the Pistons shot 32. The Cavs didn’t need free throws on a night they made 20 of 38 3-pointers.