Pacers Pull Past Cavs in Preseason Finale

October 23, 2012
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Tyler Zeller

Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers trailed the Pacers for much of the night but stayed within single-digits until a 14-4 run to start the fourth quarter put the game out of reach. Aside from rookie Tyler Zeller, who got his first start as a pro, Cleveland’s bigs – Anderson Varejao (5 PF), Tristan Thompson (5) and Samardo Samuels (4) – spent most of the night in foul trouble. Indiana shot almost 48 percent from the floor and had five players in double-figures to send the Wine and Gold to the 100-82 loss.

Turning Point – The Cavaliers were down just five points – 73-68 – with 1:16 to go in the third quarter when Tristan Thompson picked up his fifth personal foul. A Kyrie Irving layup to end the period kept the Cavaliers within seven, but the Pacers would go on to outscore Cleveland, 22-11, in the fourth.

Game Ball – Tyler Zeller – the No. 17 overall pick in this past June’s Draft – started at center, moving Anderson Varejao to the 4. Zeller responded with 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting, adding seven boards, a pair of assists and a blocked shot in 29 minutes.

By the Numbers1.000 Kyrie Irving’s free throw shooting percentage over the past three games – a big reason he’s averaged 21.7 ppg over that span.

Quotable – The new-look Samardo Samuels on this preseason, headed into the real thing next week …

“I’m happy with the way things went. I’m a more mature player than I was two years ago. This preseason I wasn’t rushed. I remember playing my first preseason game when I first came to the Cavs, and everything was moving 1000 miles an hour. Now when I go out there, it’s steady, relaxed and I’m not so rushed. I’m ready to roll. I definitely feel good out there now compared to two years ago or a year ago.”

Seen and Heard – With about two minutes left in the first quarter, Indiana’s Sam Young had a pretty weird sequence. On the defensive end, he saved a Cavalier pass to his teammate while leaping over his team’s bench. Instead of getting back on the court, he ran behind the scorer’s table and jumped over a pair of courtside fans on the offensive end of the court.

Ah, preseason.

Up Next – The Wine and Gold tip off the 2012-13 season in seven days – welcoming the Washington Wizards to The Q on October 30.