In fact, the superstar acknowledged being concerned because his team is banged up with just nine games left in the regular season.
"It's been really frustrating," James said. "Our team is based on consistency and trying to get momentum and it's hard to do that when you have guys coming in and coming out.
"We know it's part of the game, but it's happening to us at the wrong part of the season."
The Cavs locked up a spot in the postseason because New Jersey lost at home to Phoenix.
Ben Wallace, in his first game at The Palace since joining the Cavs, was back on the court after missing two-plus games with back spasms. But he didn't last long, needing help to go to the locker room early in the third quarter after his back injury flared up.
"You want to get better and it's tough when you can't practice much," said James, who had a lackluster night with 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting with five assists and five turnovers.
Daniel Gibson was healthy enough to play for the first time since Feb. 20, when he sprained his left ankle. He scored only one point in 18 minutes. The Cavs chose to rest guard Delonte West, who has been slowed by left ankle tendinitis.
"I thought I could go to (West), but as the game went on, I decided there was no reason to risk it," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "We already had one guy (Gibson) limping out there."
Hamilton had missed three games with a sore hip, but came back to play in part because the Cavs routed Detroit 89-73 at home two weeks ago.
"It was a game that I didn't want to miss," said Hamilton, who said his hip was still hurting. "I could have easily sat out. But it was one of those games that since how they beat us in Cleveland, you want to play. I just tried to step up to the challenge."
Hamilton led the defensive effort against James, but had plenty of help.
"He's a very good on-the-ball defender and he has a lot of good off-the-ball defenders," James said. "When he's guarding me, he's not guarding me 1-on-1."
"I thought we played more with a purpose, what we were trying to do offensively," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "We weren't as stagnant. So that was as positive as anything."
The Pistons were pretty good on defense, too, coming within a point of holding Cleveland to its season low.
After missing his first eight shots, Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas finished with 11 points. Reserve Devin Brown scored 11 points and Joe Smith, who was acquired last month from Chicago along with Wallace, had 10 points off the bench.
"They dominated us defensively," James said.
Detroit took control in the opening minutes -- going ahead 6-0 while Cleveland missed its first four shots -- and the Cavs didn't seem to put up much of a fight. The Pistons led 29-18 after the first quarter, 49-33 at halftime and 72-50 after the third.
"They were very physical from the tip and had us on our heels from the beginning," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "We got going a couple times, but you can't play in spurts against that team."
|The Cavs may have clinched a playoff spot, but they lose Big Ben to another back injury. (Getty Images)|
|Detroit (52-21) «||29||20||23||13||85|
|CLE:L. James 13 Pts
CLE:A. Varejao 9 Reb
CLE:D. Jones 6 Ast
|DET:R. Hamilton 14 Pts
DET:A. McDyess 10 Reb
DET:T. Prince 5 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Detroit Pistons 2012 Wall Calendar
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|L. James, SF||35||4-17||4-6||4||5||0||13|
|Z. Ilgauskas, C||28||5-16||1-2||5||0||1||11|
|B. Wallace, C||20||3-3||0-0||5||0||1||6|
|S. Pavlovic, SG||20||2-8||1-2||0||1||0||6|
|D. West, SG||Did Not Play|
|D. Jones, PG||30||1-4||0-0||3||6||2||2|
|A. Varejao, C||26||1-2||1-2||9||2||3||3|
|W. Szczerbiak, SF||21||3-9||2-2||4||1||0||8|
|D. Brown, SG||20||4-8||3-3||0||2||3||11|
|D. Gibson, PG||18||0-2||1-2||0||1||3||1|
|J. Smith, PF||14||4-4||2-2||5||0||1||10|
|D. Jones, PF||8||0-1||0-0||2||1||1||0|
|E. Snow, PG||Did Not Play|
|L. Allred, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|T. Prince, SF||35||5-12||2-2||7||5||2||12|
|R. Hamilton, SG||32||3-12||8-8||3||1||2||14|
|R. Wallace, PF||26||3-8||2-2||7||0||0||9|
|C. Billups, PG||25||6-10||1-1||2||4||0||13|
|A. McDyess, PF||22||6-8||0-0||10||2||4||12|
|R. Stuckey, SG||23||2-3||1-2||1||2||0||5|
|J. Maxiell, PF||22||6-8||1-2||3||0||4||13|
|T. Ratliff, C||19||1-2||0-0||2||2||1||2|
|A. Afflalo, SG||16||0-3||1-2||2||0||1||1|
|A. Johnson, SF||7||0-0||0-0||3||0||1||0|
|W. Herrmann, SF||7||0-6||2-2||2||1||1||2|
|J. Hayes, SF||5||1-1||0-0||1||0||3||2|
|L. Hunter, SG||Did Not Play|
|J. Dixon, SG||Did Not Play|
|C. Samb, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|