Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Dion Waiters received an inbounds pass from Luol Deng with 3.2 seconds left, dribbled to his left and nailed a long two-point jumper as time expired to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 97-96 win over the Detroit Pistons.
"I knew that it was good when I let it go," said Waiters. "I was comfortable, he (Rodney Stuckey) let me get to my patented move almost. It was up to me just to make a shot."
The shot was the first buzzer-beater for the Cavs since Mo Williams beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 24, 2010.
Detroit led 96-87 late in the fourth after a Kyle Singler jumper, then Jarrett Jack hit a 3-pointer that was part of an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to one with 53.8 seconds left.
The Pistons had two chances at increasing the lead, but came up empty both times and Deng pulled down a rebound with seconds remaining, allowing the Cavs a shot at the win.
"(It) was a screwy situation," said Singler. "We played well enough to win. We should have won, but the ball just didn't bounce our way."
Matthew Dellavedova scored a career-high 21 points off the bench and Waiters tallied 18 points for the Cavs, who played without star point guard Kyrie Irving for the sixth straight game due to a strained bicep.
Jack contributed 17 points in place of Irving, and Anderson Varejao netted 12 points with 16 rebounds in Cleveland's third straight win.
With the win, the Cavs now trail Atlanta by 3 1/2 games for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Josh Smith paced Detroit with 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. Singler notched 18 points, Brandon Jennings had 17 points with 13 assists and Greg Monroe deposited 14 points with eight rebounds in the Pistons' sixth loss in their last seven contests.
The Pistons ripped off a 17-1 run to take a 21-7 lead.
Jennings started the surge with a 3-pointer and later added a trey, then Singler capped it with just under 6 1/2 minutes left in the first.
Cleveland cut into the deficit over the final six minutes and trailed 33-24 after 12 minutes.
Dellavedova hit a trey to start a 9-0 run with under eight minutes left in the second. Tristan Thompson capped the spurt with a pair of free throws to tie the game at 37-37.
No team led by more than two the rest of the half and Singler's 3 with 1.5 seconds remaining gave the Pistons a 51-50 lead at the break.
Monroe's layup 4:14 into the third capped a 14-4 quarter-opening that gave the hosts a 65-54 advantage. He then added a layup after a pair of free throws that stretched the margin to 15 with 1 1/2 minutes left.
A Jennings 3 capped the scoring in the third and helped the Pistons to an 82-66 lead entering the fourth.
Detroit led comfortably throughout the fourth before Cleveland's game-ending run.
Cleveland shot 37-of-85 from the field ... The Cavs bench outscored Detroit's reserves by a 45-17 margin ... Detroit owned a 48-45 edge on the glass ... Cleveland scored 19 points off of 13 Detroit turnovers.