DARRELL ARMSTRONG
Scored 13 points in 16 minutes on 5-of-7 shooting in the team's most energetic performance of the night.
RICK CARLISLE
"I substituted for (Stephen Jackson) and he came to the bench. An exchange ensued that I felt was inappropriate, detrimental to the team, and so I made a decision to remove him from the bench. These games are difficult. If you don’t have everybody with a laser-like focus on one task, which is playing like a team and competing hard, it gets even more difficult. So, I removed him from the bench and removed him from the game."
Points in the Paint:
Cavaliers 56, Pacers 32
Fast-break points:
Cavaliers 23, Pacers 8
2nd-chance points:
Cavaliers 10, Pacers 8
Points off turnovers:
Cavaliers 19, Pacers 14
Starters scoring:
Cavaliers 70, Pacers 37
Bench scoring:
Pacers 38, Cavaliers 37
In two first quarters against Cleveland, the Pacers have been outscored 58-28, shooting 11-of-42 (.261) from the floor while allowing the Cavs to shoot 24-of-37 (.649).
Jermaine O'Neal may return to action Monday in Chicago against Ben Wallace and the Bulls.
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  • CLEVELAND 107, PACERS 75
    Jackson Benched, Pacers Routed

    At Quicken Loans Arena | Dec. 9, 2006


    Dealing with the Cavaliers, on the road, on the second night of the eighth back-to-back set of the young season, would be a challenge even at full strength. Entering said game without Jermaine O'Neal and finishing without Stephen Jackson turned it into a mess. Cleveland jumped on the Pacers immediately and didn't let up, leading by double figures most of the way en route to a 107-75 rout Saturday.

    O'Neal missed his second game in a row with a sore left hamstring that will be re-evaluated before the Pacers play in Chicago Monday night. Jackson, who started at small forward as Coach Rick Carlisle opted to go with a small lineup including Sarunas Jasikevicius at shooting guard, was sent to the locker room by Carlisle late in the second quarter for what was described as "conduct detrimental to the team."

    LeBron James set the tone immediately, scoring 24 of his 27 points in the first half while hitting 10-of-11 shots. Unlike their previous meeting, when the Pacers rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to take a 10-point victory, Indiana had nothing to offer in the second half as the final margin tied the most lopsided loss in series history.

    The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Pacers (11-11), who dropped their fourth in a row on the road, where they're 5-9. The Cavs won for the ninth time in 11 games at home to improve to 12-7.


    PLUSES

    The only individual positives for the Pacers were the performances of reserves Darrell Armstrong and Danny Granger. Armstrong scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and sparked the Pacers' only meaningful run of the game in the second period. Granger scored 12 points with nine rebounds and two assists in a reserve role. Jeff Foster pulled 10 rebounds.
    MINUSES
    This is a long list, beginning with Jackson's benching for the second half, a particularly unfortunate time for the veteran coming off his two best games of the season to regress into a situation where disciplinary action was necessary. None of the starters (outscored 70-37) had an effective game. The two scorers the team needed most were AWOL as Al Harrington shot 3-of-13 and Jamaal Tinsley 1-of-10 as the Pacers wound up hitting just .325 from the field, a season low – as was the final point total. They were badly outrebounded (57-34) and couldn't even make free throws, going 16-of-28 from the line (.571)

    James got to the rim at will and scored an easy 27 on 11-of-16 shooting, adding seven rebounds and six assists. Damon Jones scored 15 and Donyell Marshall had 11 points, 17 rebounds and four blocked shots off the bench. Zydrunas Ilgauskas came out aggressively, scoring seven of his 15 points in the first quarter and pulling seven rebounds. Anderson Varejao had 13 points and nine rebounds. The Cavs shot .527.


    MOMENTS
    The Pacers were hoping for déjà vu in the first half, which was almost a carbon copy of the teams' first meeting. The Cavs dominated the first quarter 31-16 but Indiana seemed to regain its footing and some momentum late in the second quarter as Armstrong sparked a nine-point run by scoring seven points in 31 seconds and the deficit at intermission was a manageable 56-42.

    Unlike the first time around, however, that's where Indiana's spark died. The Cavs scored the first six points of the second half to push the margin back up to 20 and the Pacers offered no threat thereafter. Cleveland blew it wide open by scoring the final nine points of the third to make it 84-55 entering the fourth, offering plenty of playing time for both teams' reserves.


    TIDBITS
  • With Jasikevicius at shooting guard, moving Jackson to small forward and Al Harrington to power forward, the Pacers used their eighth different starting lineup of the season.
  • Cleveland was without starting power forward Drew Gooden, who strained a groin muscle while warming up and was replaced in the lineup by Anderson Varejao.
  • The Pacers trailed at the end of the first quarter for the 17th time and at intermission for the 16th time.