LOS ANGELES, United States, Jan 31 – Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond tallied 21 points and 22 rebounds in a 125-114 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who not only lost the game but also star Kevin Love with a broken hand.
Love’s exit in the first quarter has the potential to shake up the season for the Cavaliers, who are trying to get back to the NBA finals for the third straight time.
“It’s just unfortunate for our team,” Love’s teammate LeBron James said. “Obviously with everything (that’s) been going on as of late with our ballclub, just trying to figure out how we’re going to play every night, different lineups, and getting everybody into the flow, we don’t need to have Kev go out like that.
“He’s going to be out for quite a while — maybe two months — so it’s just tough.” Love broke his left hand.
Meanwhile, the Piston’s got ready to welcome new acquisition Blake Griffin into the fold by taking advantage of Love’s absence and snapping an eight-game losing skid.
The Pistons acquired five-time all-star Griffin in a multi-player trade earlier on Tuesday and he is expected to join his new team soon.
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 led the offence while Stanley Johnson added a career-high 26 points. Reggie Bullock added 22 points for the Pistons, and Anthony Tolliver scored 20.
James scored 21 points for Cleveland, but Love’s condition was foremost on everyone’s mind. The team said Love had a non-displaced fracture in his fifth metacarpal and his status would be updated after team doctors examine his hand on Wednesday in Cleveland.
“When it rains, it pours,” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said.
Love has a history of hand injuries. In 2012-13 with the Minnesota Timberwolves he missed 62 games after fracturing the third and fourth metacarpals in his right hand and later re-fracturing the third. In 2009-10, also with the Timberwolves, Love broke the fourth metacarpal in his left hand and missed the first 18 games of the season.
Love was also sidelined for 16 games last season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on February 14.
Elsewhere, the Washington Wizards, who learned they have lost all-star guard John Wall for a significant period of time, snapped the Oklahoma City Thunder’s eight-game win streak with a 102-96 win.
The Wizards announced Tuesday that Wall would undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Wall, picked for his fifth all-star game last week, is second on the Wizards in scoring, averaging 19.4 points, and is second in the league with 9.3 assists per game.
In July, he agreed to a $170 million, four-year contract extension.
– Streak snapped –
Bradley Beal had 21 points and nine assists for Washington, who held Thunder star Russell Westbrook to 13 points. Westbrook finished with 10 assists, six rebounds and seven turnovers and made only five of 18 shots.
Paul George had 28 points for Oklahoma City, but none in the fourth quarter while Carmelo Anthony missed three shots in the final 30 seconds.
The Wizards started Tomas Satoransky in Wall’s place. The Czech point guard finished with four points and six assists.
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry overcame a slow start as the Toronto Raptors rallied to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-104.
DeRozan finished with 23 points and eight assists and Lowry scored 15 with nine assists as Toronto improved to 34-15 on the season. Centre Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Jimmy Butler led Minnesota with 25 points, five rebounds and six assists, for the Timberwolves who lost their 14th consecutive game at Air Canada Center arena. Canadian Andrew Wiggins scored 15 points with eight rebounds.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, who was playing a day after the birth of his child, finished with 10 points.
The Raptors were without sixth man CJ Miles who has a right knee injury.