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Detroit Pistons’ closing out problems strike again in loss to Cleveland Cavaliers

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Detroit – At the season opener, the Pistons lost a late lead and lost to the Washington Wizards.

You did it again at the home opening game.

Not once, but twice.

The Pistons wasted an eight point lead in the final four minutes of regulation and a nine point lead in the first few hours of overtime, allowing the Cleveland Cavaliers to keep coming back to the game.

In the second extension, the Pistons fell into deficit and were unable to get out. On Saturday evening in the Little Caesars Arena, the Cavs suffered an impressive defeat of 128: 119.

BOX SCORE: Cavaliers 128, Pistons 119, 2OT

Jerami Grant had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Blake Griffin 26 points and six rebounds and Delon Wright 19 points and six rebounds for the Pistons (0-2).

It was an odd scene in the Little Caesars Arena with a limited number of spectators – fewer than 250 as permitted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It was also the first game at Little Caesars Arena for longtime Pistons center Andre Drummond, which finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds and five assists.

In the second extra time, the Cavs (2-0) had a hot start with two baskets from Collin Sexton (32 points) and a 3-pointer from Darius Garland (21 points and 12 assists). Kevin Love (15 points and nine rebounds) scored three free throws, giving the Cavs their biggest lead since regulation ended.

They rolled the rest of the way.

The Pistons followed at 78:67 in the middle of the third quarter and seemed to be sinking, but they turned up the defense and made a 19-3 run to end the quarter. That was a lead of 86-81, the pistons’ first lead since the end of the first quarter.

They seemed to have victory in their hands, leading by eight points after a 3-pointer from Delon Wright (12 points), but the Pistons failed to score in the remainder of regulation and the Cavs were dipped by Sexton and Drummond went 5 Points in the lead -6 with free throws, with 101 with 1:08 left.

The Cavs had a chance to win but missed a run from Garland.

The Pistons jumped in overtime with a free throw from Grant, a drive from Derrick Rose (13 points) and a putback dunk from Grant. Rose followed with a 3-hand and the pistons had a lead of 109-101 at 3:47, but the cavs weren’t done yet.

Drummond turned a putback dunk and after a 3-pointer from Grant, Drummond hit a hook and Kevin Love followed with a 3-pointer. The Cavs had a 9-0 run – one that was better than their regular goal – and tied him 7.6 seconds ahead on a drive from Sexton.

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Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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Dusty Kennedy