LeBron James gets triple-double in Cleveland Cavaliers’ blowout of Detroit Pistons, 128-96
By STEVE HERRICK
CLEVELAND — LeBron James got his 52nd career triple-double Tuesday, and that doesn’t even count perhaps his most notable assist of the night.
James had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists, Kyrie Irving had 26 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a blazing start to overpower the Detroit Pistons 128-96.
James was overpowering at moments, sometimes even against his own teammates. He flattened Irving while grabbing a rebound in the third quarter, but helped him to his feet before dribbling the ball up the floor.
James said he was surprised to see Irving in his path.
“I’m not going to let him stay on the floor,” James said. “I gotta get my guy up and make sure I get the ball up the court before the eight-second violation.”
Cleveland had lost four of five, so a few laughs were welcome. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue chuckled at the mention of his two best players colliding.
“When we’re up and we’re winning and feeling good, we’ll do anything, so who knows,” he said.
James picked up his 10th triple-double of the season and third in the last four games at the 3:45 mark of the third quarter and played only 28 minutes.
Cleveland’s hot shooting buried Detroit early. The Cavaliers made their first 10 3-pointers and started by hitting 22 of 25 shots for a 60-33 lead early in the second quarter.
“They were great and we were terrible,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy. “That’s how you get a lopsided game.”
Iman Shumpert scored a season-high 18 points for Cleveland, which is 3-5 in March but still leads Boston by 2 1/2 games for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Tobias Harris led Detroit with 17 points. The Pistons are seventh in the East but are in a tight battle with several teams for a playoff spot.