Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving had the ball on a string and Brandon Knight staring in his face, faking a right-handed drive and going left, except Knight beat him to the spot, drawing an offensive foul. Irving's exasperated look following the play seemed to illustrate his night, one not becoming of perhaps the NBA's best young point guard. The smile Knight wore, one of confidence and assurance, definitively defined his night while he chirped at Irving. "I told Kyrie, (the ref) wasn't gonna call the foul. You see how long it took him to call that," Knight said. "He was looking at the play, I told Kyrie that." The 2011 draftmates and friendly rivals went at each other all night, and although Knight will cede the point guard spot to newcomer Jose Calderon, he's shown an ability to rise to the occasion. Knight's 20 points, 10 assists and six rebounds helped the Pistons to its first win since Wednesday's trading away of Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye was official, 117-99 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Greg Monroe recorded his 18th double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Kyle Singler, sliding to his natural spot at small forward, scored 20 points and had eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals. "There's always gonna be that rivalry and that challenge," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "That's natural and Brandon wanted to lead our group after two disappointing losses." Calderon, who didn't play because of visa issues, received a nice ovation from the crowd when shown on the Jumbotron in the first half. "Our energy was kind of down so I wanted to make sure we got off to a good start," said Knight, who admitted the team's focus was off Wednesday after hearing news of the trade right before tipoff in Indianapolis.
Brandon Knight helps Pistons pound Cavs, move on after Prince
Detroit News | Feb 2