Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena
Game Preview: Pacers (26-6) at Cavaliers (11-22)
Scott Agness | Updated: January 4, 2014, 11:40 p.m.
Five days removed from their last meeting, the Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers square off yet again, this time in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena. The matchup has titled heavily in the Pacers’ favor, as they've won eight straight games in the series, including the last three in Cleveland.
Both teams will be on the back end of a back-to-back. The Pacers host New Orleans on Saturday and the Cavaliers are in Brooklyn. The Sunday night game is schedule to tip-off at 6 p.m. EST. The Pacers are 2-1 in Sunday games this season.
The Cavaliers ended a six-game losing streak on Thursday, thanks to a collapse by the Orlando Magic. Trailing by nine with 64 seconds to play, the Cavs outscored the Magic 17-2 the rest of the way, including overtime. Through 32 games, the Cavs have played an extra session six times and have won four of those games.
Kyrie Irving’s status for Sunday is unknown. He did not travel with his team to Brooklyn and hasn’t played since injuring his knee against the Pacers back on New Year’s Eve. They say it’s a bruise, an injury Irving called “a painful experience” at the time. Irving joins LeBron James and Stephen Curry as the only three players in the NBA averaging at least 22 points and six assists per game this season. One-time Pacers guard Jarrett Jack (2008-09) will start in his place if he can’t go.
The Pacers are heading into their 10th set of back-to-back games this the season (they have a total of 20 scheduled), they’re still searching for the best way to handle them. They’re just 5-4 on the second night so maybe it’s rest or maybe it’s more energy from the tip. Two other focal points for the Pacers will be turnovers and offensive rebounds.
Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving (day-to-day, left knee contusion)
“We’ve struggled on back-to-backs. Our guys just have to get a great rest tonight and it’s tough playing a team so quickly. It felt like we just played them. We just got to be ready … and be able to match their energy. They play with a lot of energy at home and they’re a dangerous team.” – Paul George
- The Pacers have won the last eight meetings with the Cavaliers.
- Cavaliers coach Mike Brown’s son, Elijah, is a freshman on the Butler basketball team.
- Pacers forward Danny Granger has scored in double figures in three straight games.
Dec. 31: The Pacers upped their defensive pressure in the fourth quarter, held the Cavaliers to just 10 points on 3-of-16 shooting and outscored them 26-10 in the period for a 91-76 win before ringing in the New Year. George Hill limited Cavs star Kyrie Irving to 10 points while scoring 13 points, grabbing six rebounds, and not turning the ball over. Entering the game, the Cavs averaged 106 points and nine 3-pointers over their last 10 games and the Pacers held them 30 points below that average and to just one 3-pointer on 12 tries.
Paul George scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-19 shooting (and nine misses from deep). In addition to his 19 points, Roy Hibbert swatted five shots and Danny Granger added 12 off the bench. Anderson Varajao led the Cavs with 14 points and 11 boards. The Pacers dominated the inside game, outscoring the Cavaliers in the lane, 42-26.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)
The Pacers return to Indianapolis on Tuesday, Jan. 7, when they'll host the Toronto Raptors at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Good seats still remain. Find tickets now before time runs out. Find Tickets »