By Dave Hart
Cavaliers 101, Pistons 91 – The Cleveland Cavaliers have pushed the Pistons to the brink of elimination after a Game 3 victory on Friday night.
The Pistons led 27-24 after the first quarter, trailed 54-53 at halftime and had a 79-73 disadvantage after three quarters.
Cleveland was led by Kyrie Irving with a game-high 26 points while LeBron James added 20 points and 13 rebounds. Kevin Love chipped in with 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons with 18 points, while Andre Drummond added 17 and Marcus Morris chipped in with 16. Reggie Jackson had a double-double for Detroit with 13 points and 12 assists in a losing effort.
1st Round: 0-3
# wins to win a NBA World Championship: 16
# wins to win an Eastern Conference Championship: 12
# losses to elimination: 1
3rd Place in Central Division (13 games behind Cleveland)
8th Place in Eastern Conference (13 games behind Cleveland)
Playoff spot clinched!
Eliminated from Central Division and Eastern Conference title contention.
Next Game: 04/24/2016 Game 4 of 1st Round vs Cleveland Cavaliers 8:30 p.m. @ Palace of Auburn Hills
Stats: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 18 points, Andre Drummond 17 points 7 rebounds, Marcus Morris 16 points, Reggie Jackson 13 points 12 assists, Tobias Harris 13 points 7 rebounds.
Indians 2, Tigers 1 – The Cleveland Indians opened the three-game series with a win over the Tigers on Friday night.
The Indians score their runs on solo home runs from Carlos Santana in the first inning and Marlon Byrd in the seventh.
Cleveland’s starting pitching Josh Tomlin picked up the victory, allowing one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings.
The Tigers scored their lone run on an RBI double from Justin Upton in the bottom of the sixth inning. Victor Martinez chipped in with a double for the Detroit.
Detroit’s starting pitcher Justin Verlander tossed a solid game despite picking up the loss. He pitched seven innings allowing two runs on four hits while striking out 10 batters.
The Tigers will look to even the series with a win against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday afternoon.
3rd Place in AL Central Division (2 games behind Kansas City)
½ game behind Oakland for last playoff spot
Magic # to clinch a playoff spot: 148
Magic # to clinch an AL Central Division title: 150
Next Game: 04/23/2016 vs Cleveland Indians 1:10 p.m. @ Comerica Park
Hitting stats: Justin Upton 2B (4) RBI (3), Victor Martinez 2B (4).
Pitching stats: Justin Verlander L (1-2) 7 IP 4 H 2 R 2 ER 2 BB 10 K.