Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons Pick & Prediction JANUARY 31st 2024

The Cleveland Cavaliers are nearly back to full strength, providing a scary thought for the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland is 10-1 since Jan. 3 as it heads into a matchup against the visiting Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

The Cavaliers have won their last seven meetings against Detroit, which is looking to build on its best win of the season after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-104 on Sunday.

Cleveland received a spark Monday from forward Evan Mobley, who returned after missing six weeks because left knee surgery and finished with 10 points and nine rebounds in a 118-108 win over the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers.

Mobley played 21 minutes and announced his return with a thunderous dunk in the first quarter.

“Didn’t feel too rusty,” Mobley said. “Got into the flow of the game as I kept playing. Just felt better out there, felt more comfortable. That dunk, I feel like it got me going.”

Donovan Mitchell had 28 points and 12 assists for the Cavaliers, who have won 15 of their last 19 games. Jarrett Allen recorded his 15th straight double-double with 20 points and 17 rebounds.

Cleveland point guard Darius Garland has been out since Dec. 15 with a fractured jaw, but he could return to action as soon as Wednesday.

Seven different players scored in double figures on Monday as the Cavaliers adjusted seamlessly to Mobley’s return.

“That’s just a testament to our team, a testament to (coach J.B. Bickerstaff) and just everybody in this Cavs organization,” Allen said. “They get guys who are willing to buy in, who are willing to sacrifice for this team and not just think it’s all about them. Showed tonight that we were able to play the same basketball that was winning these games on this stretch when everybody was out. Kudos to everybody.”

Cleveland will need to be careful not to look past the Pistons, who won for just the sixth time in 46 games this season on Sunday.

Jalen Duren had 22 points and a career-high 21 rebounds in the impressive win over Oklahoma City, while Jaden Ivey added 19 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 17.

“I just think our guys care,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said. “I called a timeout and I said, ‘I’m OK with them making shots, but we gotta go compete the way we compete to give ourselves a chance.’ There was every reason to come up with excuses and they would’ve been valid. … We just competed our tails off.”

Duren took another step forward in his development with the first 20-20 game of his career. The second-year forward is averaging 15.4 points and 12.6 rebounds over his last 17 games.

“I feel like the game is slowing down for me, tremendously,” Duren said. “Me studying the game, learning the game and like I always say, just learning how I can be most effective. I would say the game is slowing down for me. I had footwork, but I’ll be lying if I said I haven’t continued to develop it with the coaches and the guys that we’ve been around. They’ve also been a huge help for my game.”

The Pistons are monitoring the status of guard Cade Cunningham, who missed Monday’s game due to left knee injury management and has been out nine of the past 10 games.

–Field Level Media

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