Pistons defeat Cavaliers 113-102

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Dwane Casey has a goal of 30-plus 3-point attempts per game.

But the long-range attempts aren’t necessary when everything is either a dunk or lay-up.

The Detroit Pistons rolled to an early 15-point lead on the way to a 113-102 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night — the team’s fourth victory in five games.

The Pistons (8-6) scored 38 points in the first quarter with only one 3-pointer in taking an 11-point lead.

But they shot 73.7 percent from the field — a byproduct of attempting only two 3-pointers in the first quarter against the league’s worst team that fields the league’s worst defense.

Andre Drummond led five Pistons in double figures with 23 points and 15 rebounds. He added three blocked shots.

Blake Griffin and Reggie Bullock scored 21 points each. Griffin added 12 rebounds and five assists.

The Pistons’ largest lead was 30 points.

Rookie Collin Sexton scored 18 points for the Cavs (2-13).

The Pistons added to their league-leading total of technical fouls with four (Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Calderon and Stanley Johnson).

Casey has harped on the Pistons’ poor starts this season — although they have improved since inserting Glenn Robinson into the starting lineup five games ago.

The Pistons were ranked 21st in first-quarter scoring margin.

“Just a sense of intensity of setting a tone,” the Pistons coach said before the game. “I never question a guy’s effort. If we have to coach effort in this league, we’re in trouble.

“All the little bitty things that come with focus, setting the tone defensively, setting the tone offensively, running the floor, early seals, early post-ups. It’s all about doing those things before the other team does. Those are the things we got to jump start ourselves to do and not wait to get punched in the mouth.”

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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