Notebook: Pacers 111, Cavaliers 90



Posted Mar 18, 2013 11:54 PM

By Brian Dulik, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Shooting guard Gerald Green scored 13 of his team-high 20 points in the second quarter as the Indiana Pacers crushed the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-90 Monday night..

Indiana (41-26) power forward Tyler Hansbrough added 18 points and 11 rebounds, while All-Star small forward Paul George had 14 points. Shooting guard C.J. Miles scored a game-best 21 points for Cleveland (22-45), which also received 20 points and 11 boards from power forward Tristan Thompson. Cavaliers center Marreese Speights was ejected late in the third quarter for committing a flagrant-two foul on George, wrapping his forearm around his neck before throwing him to the ground.

QUOTABLE: "It was a punk play, honestly. It's as simple as that. Me and Mo Speights are cool, so I don't think it's anything personal, but that was a punk play the way he went after me like that."

-- Pacers small forward Paul George

THE STAT: Pacers power forwards Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph combined for 29 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots while filling in for the injured David West (lower back sprain). Hansbrough played 23 minutes in his second start of the season, while Pendergraph logged 25 minutes as his backup. "Obviously, we've got great depth at the power forward position," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "Tyler is a legitimate starter in this league and Jeff might be, as well. He's definitely at least a quality backup." West is listed as day to day.

TURNING POINT: After Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller made two free throws to cut Indiana's lead to 40-38 midway through the second, the Pacers responded with a 20-5 run that blew the game wide open. Green buried three 3-pointers in a 79-second span, then added a gorgeous, one-handed alley-oop off a pass from point guard George Hill. "I just tried to run the floor hard and provide a lot of energy out there," said Green, who did not play in Indiana's four previous games. "But tonight was all about us winning the basketball game."

QUOTABLE II: "It's a different mentality coming off the bench, but I don't expect to start over David West. He's a great player. I just had to make a little mental adjustment tonight, knowing I was starting."

-- Pacers power forward Tyler Hansbrough

HOT: The Pacers are 3-0 against the Cavaliers this season, extending their overall win streak over them to five games. Indiana center Roy Hibbert had four of his game-high five blocked shots in the third. Thompson leads the Cavaliers with 25 double-doubles. In his last 41 contests, the second-year pro is averaging 13.5 points while shooting .502 from the field.

NOT: Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters exited after the first quarter with a sore left knee. The fourth overall pick in the NBA Draft revealed that his knee had been bothering him for a "couple of games and just wasn't feeling right tonight. The doctor said we'll find out how things are tomorrow." Cleveland shooting guards Waiters, Wayne Ellington, and Daniel Gibson combined to shoot 4-for-25 from the field (.160).

QUOTABLE III: "We just didn't come out with enough fight tonight. That's not acceptable, especially at home. We have to throw the first punch and be men about it. We have to play hard every night."

-- Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson

GOOD MOVE: Vogel announced before the game that he had elevated Green into the Pacers' 10-man rotation, replacing small forward Sam Young. Green responded by shooting 7-for-13 on field goals, including 4-for-7 beyond the arc, and 2-for-2 on free throws. It was his top output since scoring a season-high 21 points against Utah on Dec. 19. "It's been tough because I've wanted to play, but OJ (shooting guard Orlando Johnson) and Sam have been doing great," Green said. "They've been fully supportive of me the whole time, so I have to show them the same respect now."

BAD MOVE: Speights displayed terrible judgment when he grabbed George from behind on a fast-break layup attempt, wrapped his arm around his throat, and flung him to the floor. George remained down on the baseline, holding his neck, for more than a minute, but recovered to make both of his subsequent free throws. Speights is facing a possible $35,000 fine -- along with an NBA suspension -- as the Cavaliers prepare to host the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The Cavaliers are already without their top center in Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery).

NOTABLE: Pacers small forward Danny Granger (left knee soreness) has resumed physical activity and will work out individually for the rest of this week. Granger has been limited to five games and 74 minutes this season because of ongoing pain from patellar tendinosis. ... Vogel said West could play Tuesday when the Pacers play Orlando at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, but added, "His back is pretty sore, so we'll see." ... Cavaliers power forward Luke Walton suffered a broken nose Saturday when he was inadvertently struck by Spurs power forward Tim Duncan. Walton becomes the fourth Cleveland player to wear a protective facemask this season, joining All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, Zeller, and Thompson.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Tuesday vs. Orlando, Friday vs. Milwaukee, Saturday @ Chicago. For the Cavaliers, Wednesday vs. Miami, Friday @ Houston, March 27 vs. Boston.