Pacers Pull Away at The Q
Wrap-Up – Against the better teams in the conference, the Cavaliers can’t afford to take a quarter off. But on Friday night, they did exactly that – allowing the Pacers to put up a 33-point third period that proved to be the difference, sending the Wine and Gold to their sixth straight defeat, 99-89, on Friday night at The Q.
Playing their second straight game without an injured Anderson Varejao, the Cavs were beaten badly down low by a long, tough Indiana frontline. The Pacers eclipsed the Cavaliers in second-chance points (20-5) and in points in the paint (52-36).
Cleveland was led by Kyrie Irving’s 17-point performance, but Irving was just 5-of-16 from the floor and had six turnovers to go with his five assists. Tristan Thompson doubled-up with 12 points and 13 boards and Alonzo Gee and Dion Waiters added 11 points apiece. C.J. Miles pitched with 10 points off the bench.
Turning Point – The Cavs led by a point at intermission and were well within striking distance through the third when a sloppy stretch with just over four minutes to play in the period gave Indiana all the cushion they’d need. On successive possessions, Tyler Zeller committed turnovers under the Pacers’ basket and – with Paul George converting both miscues into dunks – Indiana was able to turn a close game into a double-digit affair for the rest of the night.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – The second-year big man brought more energy than anyone on Friday, going 5-for-9 from the floor and grabbing four of his 13 boards off the offensive glass. Thompson also added a pair of blocked shots.
By the Numbers – 7 … Number of double-doubles Tristan Thompson has turned in so far this year.
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on the Cavaliers’ third-quarter performance on Friday night …
“We’ve talked about how important it is to play four good quarters in a game. That third quarter was an illustration of what not to do.”
Seen and Heard – A tradition like no other every Christmas, The Q’s head of security, Rick Fillmore, dons his “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation/Cousin Eddie” outfit – complete with the mock turtle neck, tight green pants and white dress shoes. It’s always a big hit with fans, workers and players.
Up Next – The Cavaliers travel to Milwaukee for the second time this season where they’ll try to snap a 17-game losing streak in the Central Division. After their matchup with the Bucks, the Wine and Gold don’t play again until after Christmas.