Pacers vs Cavaliers (Game 3)

Game Preview presented by Jiffy Lube

Practice: McMillan Talks Game 3; Defensive Communication

April 19, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan talked to the media following practice on Wednesday and discussed the team's mindset heading into Game 3.

Pregame 170420

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Practice: McMillan Talks Game 3; Defensive Communication

April 19, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan talked to the media following practice on Wednesday and discussed the team's mindset heading into Game 3.
Apr 19, 2017  |  09:03

Practice: Paul George - April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017 - Pacers forward Paul George discusses the first two games against the Cavaliers, the unexpected national attention on his comments after Game 2, and keys to Game 3.
Apr 19, 2017  |  08:11

Shootaround: LeBron James on Defending Paul George, Game 3

April 20, 2017 - Ahead of Game 3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Cavaliers forward LeBron James discusses the challenges of defending Pacers All-Star Paul George and keys to Thursday's contest.
Apr 20, 2017  |  02:11

Practice: Stephenson on Defense, Emotions

April 19, 2017 - Pacers guard Lance Stephenson spoke to the media about how to improve his defense, as well as how he has to handle his emotions in this series going forward.
Apr 19, 2017  |  01:27

Shootaround: Lue on Defending Paul George

April 20, 2017 - At the Cavaliers shootaround, Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue talked about his team's health for Game 3, and guarding Paul George.
Apr 20, 2017  |  03:23

Turner: "They Won Two At Home. We Need To Do The Same Thing"

April 19, 2017 - Pacers center Myles Turner discussed being physical and the Pacers' team defense.
Apr 19, 2017  |  01:44

Game Preview: Pacers vs Cavaliers (Game 3)

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Matchup

The Pacers took the Cavaliers down to the wire twice in Cleveland, but the defending champions held on both times to maintain homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven first-round series.

Now, the series shifts back to Indianapolis, where the Blue & Gold are hoping their home crowd can lift them to a pair of victories to even the series.

The Pacers put together two solid offensive performances in Cleveland, shooting 49.4 percent as a team in Game 1 and 51.2 percent in Game 2. All-Star forward Paul George has once again taken his game to another level in the postseason, averaging 30.5 points over the first two games.

PLAYOFF CENTRAL: Tickets, News, and More »

Unfortunately, the Pacers have struggled to find any modicum of success on the defensive end through the first two games.

Head coach Nate McMillan expressed his dismay after Indiana allowed the Cavs to rack up 66 points on 61 percent shooting in the first half of Game 1. They weren't much better in Game 2, allowing 63 points on 60 percent shooting over the first two quarters of Game 2.

Pacers Playoffs presented by Bankers Life, Key Bank, Kroger,
and Mountain Dew

The Pacers have tried a variety of different schemes to try to slow down Cleveland's potent attack, but have struggled in both their execution and communication. The Cavaliers excel at finding and exploiting mismatches, whether it's LeBron James posting up on Jeff Teague, Kevin Love bodying up Lance Stephenson, or Kyrie Irving taking a big man off the dribble.

The good news for the Pacers is that they've been a completely different team at home all season. Indiana went 29-12 during the regular season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and just 13-28 on the road. With a sellout crowd expected for Game 3's Gold Out, the Pacers are hoping to experience similar success on Thursday.

One key to Game 3 will be if Pacers center Myles Turner can rediscover his regular-season form. The 21-year-old was outstanding in the regular season, averaging 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds, but has been held in check through the first two games of this series. Turner had just six points on 3-of-10 shooting in Game 2 and was barely noticeable for large stretches of the game.

"I have to slow down, keep my composure, step up," Turner said after Game 2. "Someone's got to help (Paul George). He's being double-teamed and trapped. We've got to be playmakers."

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Jeff Teague, SG - Monta Ellis, SF - Paul George, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - J.R. Smith, SF - LeBron James, PF - Kevin Love, C - Tristan Thompson

Injury Report

Pacers: None

Cavaliers: J.R. Smith - questionable (left hamstring), Kay Felder - out (left ankle sprain)

Last Meeting

April 17, 2017: The Cavaliers pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Indiana 33-20 in the period to open up an 18-point lead, then withstood the Pacers' late charge to come away with a 117-111 victory in Game 2 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Kyrie Irving scored 25 of his game-high 37 points in the second half. Kevin Love (27 points and 11 rebounds) and LeBron James (25 points and 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles for Cleveland.

Paul George led the Blue & Gold with 32 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Jeff Teague added 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go along with four assists. Lance Stephenson had 13 points and four assists off the bench.

Noteworthy

  • The Cavaliers have won two of their last four games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Prior to that, Cleveland had lost 10 straight games at Indiana.
  • After making eight free throws in Game 2, Paul George passed Rik Smits for second place in free throws made in franchise playoff history. George has now made 297 free throws in the postseason, seven more than Smits. Reggie Miller is the franchise leader at 770.
  • George has also tied Roy Hibbert for fourth place with 450 career rebounds in the playoffs.
  • LeBron James needs 12 points in Game 3 to pass Kobe Bryant for third-most career points in the postseason in NBA history.

Game 3 Gold Out

All fans attending Game 3 against Cleveland will receive a gold t-shirt upon arrival to their seats. Doors open at 5:30 PM and all fans are encourage to arrive early for Thursday's game. Learn More »

Tickets

Limited seats remain for Thursday's Game 3 against the Cavaliers. Secure your seats now to be a part of the 2017 Pacers Playoffs presented by Bankers Life, KeyBank, Kroger, and Mtn Dew. Find Tickets »

Note: Fans have the ability to purchase tickets directly from the Pacers and also authorized resale tickets at Pacers.com/Playoffs. Pacers.com/Playoffs and NBATickets.com are the only secondary resale sites where Pacers tickets are authenticated and verified by Ticketmaster. Fans purchasing at Pacers.com/Playoffs or NBATickets.com can breathe easy knowing they purchased from a resale site that is risk-free and Pacers approved.

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: TNT - Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Kevin McHale (analyst), Kristen Ledlow (sideline reporter)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: For the remainder of the season, all Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on FM 107.5 as well as AM 1070 The Fan.
Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

Home Court Gift Shop Game Night Special

All Jerseys - $40. Game Night Specials can be purchased in the Home Court Gift Shop or any of our souvenir stands located on all levels of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The special is also available online at PacersGear.com until midnight.


Construction Note: The Delaware St. entrance to the Virginia Ave. Parking Garage is no longer in operation due to the construction of the St. Vincent Center. To enter the Virginia Ave. Parking Garage, please use the entrance located at the intersection of E Maryland St. and S Alabama St.

In addition, the southbound lane of Delaware Street from Maryland to just south of the train bridge will be closed for the duration of the construction project.