In Baron Davis’s short time as a Cavalier, he’s endeared himself to the Cleveland faithful with his late game heroics. For the second time in his five games in wine and gold, Davis hit a key three-pointer in the game’s final minute to lift the Cavaliers to a 97-91 victory. J.J. Hickson led the Cavs in scoring, but it was Baron’s 16 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, that led the Cavaliers to win number fourteen.
In his second game since March 8th due to the death of his grandmother and back spasms, Davis came off the bench and gave the team a lift in 24 minutes. Davis shot 6-of-13 for his 16 points and added 4 rebounds and 5 assists. It’s clear that Davis’s leadership and shot-making ability is desperately needed right now, and the team has a different approach when he’s on the floor. In his short time here, Davis has helped alter the way that the young Cavalier big men attack the rim. That must be the explanation for Ryan Hollins winding up with 10 points.
In the first three quarters, Cavalier fans were treated to one of J.J. Hickson’s better games this season. Hickson had 24 points and 15 rebounds after three quarters. The only problem was those were his final numbers. Despite the slow finish for Hickson, the young big man came up high-flying and full of energy, smashing dunks and sending away shot attempts with a 12-point first quarter.
Longtime Piston Rip Hamilton gave the team a solid first quarter performance with 10 points of his own. To be honest, the last I had heard of Rip, he was buried in John Kuester’s dog house and on his bench. In fact, the whole vibe I get from this Pistons team is that they wouldn’t be half bad… if it was 2005. The longest-tenured Pistons Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince led the team with 15 points each.
Two Cavaliers that don’t get a lot of discussion are two who stood out with strong performances tonight were Alonzo Gee and Luke Harangody. Gee scored 8 points and snagged 6 rebounds in 28 minutes, and he had a +/- of +10. Gee was aggressive in attacking the rim on a couple of occasions resulting in hoops. The drawback with Alonzo continues to be his outside shot. One three pointer in particular was halfway down before spinning out. As for Harangody, I just love his work ethic. He’s a bit of a poor man’s Varejao in that he will give you relentless energy and hustle. Harangody had an impressive stretch in the fourth where he pulled down three offensive rebounds. Gody’s statline was 10 points and 9 rebounds in just 17 minutes. That’s pretty good in my book.
One complaint I continue to have is the limited play of Manny Harris while Anthony Parker logs far too many minutes. Harris recorded another DNP-CD tonight, while Parker had 30 minutes of 2-for-9 shooting and 5 points. A.P. did add 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Harris deserves the same opportunity that Gee, Eyenga, Samuels, and Harangody are getting. In fact, he’s been more impressive than all of them in small doses.
With 30 seconds left, the Cavaliers grabbed the rebound and worked the clock as the Pistons refused to foul down three. The ball was in Baron Davis’s hands, and everyone knew he was going to take the shot. The J.J. Hickson pick came and a Detroit switch, and Baron Davis buried the deep jumper over the outstretched Chris Wilcox as the shot clock expired.
In a division rivalry that used to have a lot more teeth to it, this game was competitive and entertaining to the end.
(Photo: AP/Tony Dejak)