The Cleveland Cavaliers (42-21) visited The Palace of Auburn Hills Thursday night for an inner-conference match-up with the Detroit Pistons (32-33). This was a back-and-forth game for the most part, but Detroit took a lead in the fourth quarter and never looked back.

If there was any silver lining for Cleveland, J.R. Smith did make his return. It was the first action he had seen since December 20, after suffering from a fracture in his right thumb. He played just over 19 minutes, and scored just three points (1-8 from three).

Cleveland came out firing, having a 29-22 lead after the first quarter ended. Detroit looked lost offensively, and Kyrie Irving tallied up 11 points in the quarter.

The Pistons fought back, eventually cutting down the lead to three points before halftime. Detroit outscored Cleveland 17-6 in the final four minutes of the second quarter. Both Kyrie and LeBron James had 19 points at the half.

It seemed that maybe the Cavaliers would run away with the game in the third quarter after going on a 22-5 run, but Detroit did not cave.

The fourth quarter belonged to the Pistons. Led by Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond, the Pistons were able to squeeze out a 106-101 victory. Jackson finished with 21 points and five assists. Drummond notched 20 points and 16 rebounds.

Despite the loss, LeBron James got a triple-double including 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. Irving finished with 27 points and 3 assists. Channing Frye scored 15 points off the bench (5-7 from three).

Detroit is currently the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. After the victory, they trail the sixth seeded, Indiana Pacers by 1.5 games. They have a half game lead on the Chicago Bulls, and one game lead on the ninth seeded, Miami Heat. The Cavaliers still have a two game lead on the Boston Celtics, and a three game lead on the Washington Wizards.

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