Cavs carry 4-game win streak into matchup with Pistons

DETROIT -- Tyronn Lue feels good about his team's four-game winning streak. The Cleveland Cavaliers coach just wishes his players would make things easier on themselves.

Cleveland (9-7) has moved above .500 with its current surge, but all of the victories were by single digits.

The Cavs clawed back from a 15-point, second-half deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 118-113 in overtime in their most recent outing on Friday.

They will try to extend their streak when they face the Detroit Pistons on Monday in their first visit to Little Caesars Arena.

"You never want to dig yourself a hole," Lue said. "To say it's better for us? It's not. We know we have to play better to start the games.

"The good thing is that we continue to keep fighting. ... Not giving in when you're down 16, 17 points, just buckling down and showing the fight, we've done that all year long. But we don't want to continue to dig ourselves holes because now you've got to play harder, you've got to play more minutes because games go into overtime, things like that."

Injuries have forced Cleveland to rely more heavily on 35-year-old Dwyane Wade. He has become the main point guard with Derrick Rose (left ankle sprain) sidelined for two to three weeks.

The backcourt is even thinner now that Iman Shumpert (left knee soreness) is out at least five to seven days.

Wade played a season-high 37 minutes against the Clippers and racked up 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. He hopes the team can keep the pace slower going forward.

"We're one of the oldest teams in the league. We're not built for all of this," Wade said. "We're built for when the game slows down -- and late in games, the game slows down, and that's kind of when we're at our best."

LeBron James is trying his best to carry the scoring load. He is averaging 28.9 points -- his highest since his 29.7 per game output in 2009-10 -- and 8.6 assists. Lue expects that to continue until Isaiah Thomas, who has been out all season with a hip injury, returns to action.

"He's done the same things," Lue said of James. "I just think offensively he's been more aggressive. Missing Isaiah, he's taken it upon himself to be more aggressive offensively, and we need that at times. I know it's kind of out of the norm for him, but that's what we need right now."

The Pistons (11-5) will be playing the second half of a back-to-back. On Sunday, they notched their sixth victory after trailing by double digits, rallying to beat the Timberwolves 100-97 in Minnesota.

That salvaged the finale of a three-game road trip. Detroit lost to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Indiana Pacers, blowing a 22-point in the latter contest.

"The game really wasn't a lot different than the other games," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said after the win over Minnesota. "It was a road game against a good team that went down to the wire. We didn't finish the other two, and tonight, we finished."

Point guard Reggie Jackson was the primary finisher, supplying nine points and four assists in the fourth quarter.

"Under five minutes, give Reggie Jackson the basketball," Detroit center Andre Drummond said in a TV interview. "Simple as that. As soon as you see that clock under five minutes in the fourth quarter, everybody get the heck out of the way, give Reggie Jackson the basketball and let him work."

The Cavaliers and the Pistons split last season's four-game series.