By NOAH TRISTER/AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) – Andre Drummond had 21 points and 22 rebounds, and the short-handed Detroit Pistons beat Cleveland 125-114 on Tuesday night after the Cavaliers lost Kevin Love to a potentially season-altering hand injury.
Love exited in the first quarter with a broken left hand, and the Pistons took advantage of his absence, snapping an eight-game losing streak despite a roster that was depleted by their blockbuster trade for Blake Griffin.
Detroit gave up three players to get Griffin, and neither he nor the other two players the Pistons received in return were available against Cleveland. Drummond – whose own status was in question because of an illness – had a huge game, and Stanley Johnson added a career-high 26 points.
Reggie Bullock added 22 points for the Pistons, and Anthony Tolliver scored 20.
LeBron James scored 21 points for the Cavs, but Cleveland was listless early and outplayed late – and the result felt secondary to Love’s health. The team said he had a non-displaced fracture in his fifth metacarpal and his status would be updated after additional examination Wednesday in Cleveland.
Love played only 4:41 and went scoreless.
Wade scored 18 points after missing two games because of the death of his longtime agent Henry Thomas. Wade (21,800) moved past Larry Bird (21,791) for 32nd place on the NBA’s career scoring list.
Drummond was added to the NBA All-Star Game on Tuesday, replacing injured Washington guard John Wall. After he was initially left out of the game, Drummond apparently felt snubbed, posting last week to his Twitter account: “Guess I gotta start doing back flips after every point I score to get attention around here!”
Cavaliers: Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points and Kyle Korver added 10.
Pistons: Detroit had 44 points in the paint in the first half. … Johnson’s previous career high was 22 points against New York on Feb. 4, 2016.
Cavaliers: Host the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Pistons: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night in what could be Griffin’s debut with Detroit.
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