|Pistons, Cavs out to reverse fortunes|
The Detroit Pistons haven't been able to string together victories through their first 20 games. They'll try once again for their first winning streak, modest as it may be, when they play at Cleveland on Tuesday.
The Pistons crushed San Antonio 132-98 on Sunday for their seventh victory of the season. Detroit's reserves led the way with 75 points.
"We played a lot better," starting forward Blake Griffin said to NBA.com. "Probably one of our more complete games. My message (Monday) is going to be what type of team are we going to be in Cleveland?"
Their outlook would be considerably brighter if reserve center Christian Wood could consistently deliver the type of effort he showed against the Spurs. He erupted for a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds.
"Christian is a talent," coach Dwane Casey said. "There's nights he does things like that and there's nights that he doesn't. I thought he strung it together offensively, made good decisions, attacked the rim, rebounded well. Had an all-around excellent game. Like I've always said, he's a talented young man. He's just got to get the thinking into the game and continue to do that."
Wood's mentality is to find some stability after being let go by four other organizations in the past five years. He earned the last roster spot with Detroit this fall over veteran forward Joe Johnson due to some promising preseason outings. However, his contract this season doesn't become fully guaranteed unless he's still on the roster through Jan. 10.
"I'm not just doing this for Casey or the staff," Wood said to NBA.com. "All 30 teams are watching me, so every time I play I try to be relentless. I try to come with energy and I try to give you everything I've got."
The Pistons are as healthy as they've been all season. Other than point guard Reggie Jackson, who has been sidelined most of the way due to a back injury, Casey has all of the rotation players at his disposal.
Longtime University of Michigan coach and first-year Cavaliers head man John Beilein will be coaching against Michigan's pro team for the first time during the regular season.
He might have more options available on Tuesday. Rookie swingman Dylan Windler, a first-round selection, could make his NBA debut. He has been sidelined with a stress reaction in his left leg.
Windler went through a full practice on Sunday.
"Dylan looked pretty good," Beilein told Cleveland.com. "He's going to be rusty for a bit, but he can really pass, he's strong and he makes the next play over and over again. He's a talker on the floor. All those things we need."
Beilein is also hopeful that center John Henson, who has been out much of the season with a hamstring strain, will return to action.
"Add those two (Windler and Henson) and all of a sudden the size of our team increases dramatically," Beilein said. "Will be tremendous to have those two extra guys out there. Injuries are the only thing that has prohibited it."
Cleveland has lost nine of its past 10 games. The Cavaliers haven't played since Friday, when they lost to Milwaukee 119-110.
Detroit won the four-game series 3-1 last season. The teams will play the three remaining games in this year's series in January.
--Field Level Media