Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 3:00 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena
Game Preview: Pacers at Cavaliers
Scott Agness | March 28, 2014
The Pacers head to Cleveland for a matinee on Sunday afternoon. They are just 4-3 in games played on Sunday but have had their way with the Cavaliers this season, victorious in all three previous matchups.
Both the Pacers (52-21) and the Cavaliers (29-45) are coming off road losses on Friday night. Prior to their defeat in Brooklyn, the Cavaliers had won three straight games, all over Eastern Conference teams. Cleveland’s contest Sunday with the Pacers is their only home game over a five-game span.
As the Pacers were in D.C., the Cavs played in Brooklyn Friday night. Their contest with the Pacers is their only home game over a five-game span. They’ve won three straight games, as of Friday, all over Eastern Conference teams.
Since these two teams last met, the Cavaliers acquired Luol Deng from Chicago for three draft picks and Andrew Bynum, who obviously later signed with the Pacers on Feb. 1. Though the 7-footer won’t play, this will be his first trip back there since being traded. He averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 24 appearances in a Cavs’ uniform. He’s played just two games with the Pacers before being declared out indefinitely due to ongoing knee soreness.
The Cavs also made a trade-deadline deal with Philadelphia, adding center Spencer Hawes to their roster.
Former Pacers assistant Mike Brown, now in his second stint with the Cavaliers, has had to shuffle his lineups as he's had a half-dozen players on the injury list. Notably, two-time All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has missed the last seven games because of a bicep injury. His goal is to return to the lineup next week.
With Irving out, the focus shifts to guard Dion Waiters. He’s coming of a 20-point night in Brooklyn, his fifth time in the last seven games with at least 20. During that same span, ex-Pacer Jarrett Jack is averaging 15.6 points and 5.3 assists per game at the point.
Indiana’s offense has been out of whack the last few weeks, and has been held below 80 points in three of their past four games and each of those times they lost. This season, they’re averaging over 97 points per game.
While revving up their offensive production, they also need to regain some confidence in going on the road. After beginning the season 7-1 in road games, they’ve since gone 12-16. In March alone, they’re 3-7 in road games and are currently on a four-game losing streak away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers then return home to complete their 20th and final set of back-to-back games, with the San Antonio Spurs, who have the league’s best record and will be waiting in Indy, Monday night.
Pacers: Andrew Bynum (out, sore right knee), C.J. Watson (out, right hamstring strain)
Cavaliers: Anthony Bennett (out, left patellar tendon strain), Carrick Felix (out, left patellar stress fracture), Kyrie Irving (out, left biceps strain), C.J. Miles (out, left ankle sprain)
“We’re at the point where we ... get up for the Miami’s or get up for the Chicago Bulls and then come out and lay donuts against the Wizards and these other teams. … I just don’t know if we’re handling success and being out front the right way.” – David West
“I don’t know if we were ready to play or not. The thing is, they beat us pretty well and we need this game as much as we needed last game. We have such a great opportunity right now and we’re letting it slip because of these type of games. It’s been happening way too often.” – Luis Scola after the loss to the Wizards
- The Pacers have owned this matchup since LeBron left, winning 15 of their last 16 meetings and four in a row in Cleveland.
- The Pacers are 10-3 this season against division opponents.
- Donald Sloan spent time with the Cavs in each of the previous two seasons, seeing the court for 45 games over that time.
- In all three meetings this season, the Pacers held the Cavaliers below 37 percent shooting (34.9, 36.3, 34.2), and 80 points (74, 76, 78).
January 5: The Pacers held off a late charge by the Cavaliers in Cleveland and picked up their 27th win on the season, 82-78. After trailing 27-26, the Pacers outscored the Cavs 18-8 and led the rest of the way. As the Pacers missed nine straight shots in the final quarter, the Cavs went on an 18-3 run to get within one with 1:44 left. Dion Waiters, who finished with 14 points, missed on two consecutive opportunities to pull ahead.
Indiana shot 36 percent, a season-low at the time, but had five players in double figures. Paul George scored 16 points and Roy Hibbert added 15. C.J. Miles topped everybody with 21 points, 12 scored in the second quarter. Cleveland was without both starting point guards, Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack, due to injuries.
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 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)