In the 115-112 Cleveland OT victory on the road against the Detroit Pistons last night, Cavs centre Tristan Thompson hit the game-high, and his personal career-high, 35 points and grabs 14 rebounds.
In a week overshadowed by comments from Cavs Head Coach John Beilein, who called his players “a bunch of thugs” in an apparent slip-of-the-tongue at a film session in Detroit, it was nice to see the roster rally yesterday to play some good basketball. 28-year-old big man Thompson is one of the main reasons behind Cleveland’s fiery offence last night as he continues to enjoy his best NBA season so far with 12.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
But crowds at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit weren’t quite ready for what Thompson brought to the floor as he put up a career-high 35 points, shooting at 15-for-20 from the field, snatched 14 rebounds (seven of which were offensive), gave three assists and hit three blocks. It is no mystery that Thompson’s name is being thrown around as the trade deadline approaches, he’s currently a hot commodity.
But that’s not all, Thompson found his way to the coaching clipboard for the final play of the game, and although it resulted in a turnover for the Cavs, there is no denying that Thompson is becoming a pivotal part of the roster. He has been enjoying over 32 minutes of playtime per game and even with the return of Larry Nance (knee injury) on the horizon, Thompson shouldn’t be worrying about his minutes.
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Alfonzo McKinnie also rejoined the Cavs on a ten-day contract after being waved on January 6 and proved himself by orchestrating two exceptional defensive plays against Detroit’s Derrick Rose.
Andre Drummond leads the Pistons offence with 28 points and an incredible game-high 23 rebounds as teammate Bruce Brown fed a game-high eight assists. Detroit even managed to out-shoot Cleveland inaccuracy from the three, 30% compared to 25%, but they fell slightly in their mid-range shots.
Following a turbulent few weeks, it seems the Cavs (11-27) are back on steady waters after last night’s win and will face the Denver Nuggets on the road tomorrow.