Donovan Mitchell scored 20 of his season-high tying 45 points in the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to beat the visiting Detroit Pistons 128-121 on Wednesday.
Darius Garland scored 19 points in his return from a 19-game absence for the Cavaliers, who have won three straight and 11 of their past 12. Jarrett Allen recorded his 16th straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Isaac Okoro added 14 points.
The Pistons trailed for most of the contest before moving ahead 111-106 with six minutes remaining. Cleveland tied the score four times before moving ahead 120-118 with 2:18 left.
Detroit went scoreless on its next three possessions and Mitchell made two foul shots with 28 seconds left to put the Cavaliers ahead 126-118.
Danilo Gallinari led Detroit with 20 points. Cade Cunningham scored 19 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 17, Jaden Ivey had 14, Kevin Knox II had 12, Alec Burks scored 11, and Jalen Duren had 10.
Garland made an immediate impact in his first contest since breaking his jaw in a game against the Boston Celtics on Dec. 14. The Cavaliers’ starting point guard shot 7-for-12 from the floor in 20 minutes. Sam Merrill and Caris LeVert finished with 11 points apiece for Cleveland.
Detroit fell to 6-41 this season despite shooting 55.6 percent from the floor and 16 of 31 (51.6 percent) from 3-point range.
LeVert drilled a 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers a 30-23 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Detroit pulled ahead by one after consecutive 3-pointers by Marcus Sasser and Gallinari midway through the second period.
Mitchell had 16 points in the first half for Cleveland, which took a 64-57 lead into intermission. Merrill hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-2 run in the second quarter to help the Cavaliers regain the lead.
Cleveland recorded its eighth straight win over the Pistons, who trailed 96-91 entering the final period. Detroit opened the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run to move ahead 105-100.
Detroit forward Mike Muscala exited the game early in the first quarter with a head injury and did not return.