MIKE DUNLEAVY
Produced his Pacers high with 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting, adding six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
RICK CARLISLE
"Our undoing was digging ourselves the hole we dug in the first half. We came out and played better and more aggressively in the second half, and we’re going to have to be more aggressive on Tuesday night (in Minnesota) to start the game, it’s as simple as that. We’re in a position right now where we can’t have letups. Even when shots aren’t going in, our disposition has to be strong and intense. In the first half, we had too many lapses."
Points in the Paint:
Pacers 38, Cavaliers 32
Fast-break points:
Cavaliers 15, Pacers 6
2nd-chance points:
Cavaliers 13, Pacers 10
Points off turnovers:
Cavaliers 21, Pacers 6
Starters scoring:
Cavaliers 87, Pacers 69
Bench scoring:
Pacers 19, Cavaliers 12
Including their 31-18 advantage Sunday, the Cavaliers have outscored the Pacers 89-46 in the first quarters of their three meetings.
The brief road trip concludes Tuesday in Minnesota against Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves (8 p.m., FSN-Indiana).
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  • CLEVELAND 99, INDIANA 88
    Slow Start Sends Pacers To Another Loss

    At Cleveland | March 11, 2007


    There were a few individual bright spots, but little in the way of collective progress.

    Doomed by a slow start that resulted in a 21-point deficit in the second quarter, the Pacers offered up a mild threat in the fourth period but couldn't climb all the way back in a 99-88 loss to the Cavaliers Sunday night in Cleveland.

    The Pacers (29-33) lost their ninth in a row, their longest losing streak since a franchise-record 12 from Jan. 26 through Feb. 23, 1989. They also lost their sixth straight on the road, where they fell to 11-20. Though the Pacers remained in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, their lead over eighth-place New York (29-34) was trimmed to one-half game.

    The Cavs (38-25) won their fifth straight to remain second to Detroit in the East. They won their fourth in a row at Quicken Loans Arena, where they're 24-8.


    PLUSES

    Mike Dunleavy had another strong offensive game, scoring 25 points, his most since joining the Pacers, adding six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Danny Granger scored 17 but shot 5-of-15 and contributed just one rebound and one assist. Ike Diogu started and scored 16 with five rebounds. David Harrison had his most productive game of the season with 11 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots in 16 minutes off the bench. The Pacers outrebounded the Cavs 41-38 and outscored them 24-18 from the free-throw line.
    MINUSES
    Turnovers again were a big problem as the Pacers committed 18, leading to Cleveland's 21-6 advantage in points off turnovers. The Pacers also shot 0-of-10 from the 3-point line and hit just 40 percent overall.

    LeBron James led the Cavs with 26 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Larry Hughes made a big difference with 23 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Drew Gooden added 19 points and eight rebounds and Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 10 with six rebounds, three assists and three blocks. The Cavs shot .487, a percentage that was reduced markedly by a 4-of-18 fourth quarter.


    MOMENTS
    The game was essentially decided in the first half, when the Cavs used a 13-3 run to open a 26-15 lead in the first quarter and an 11-2 run to make it 42-22 early in the second. Hughes (15), James (14) and Ilgauskas (10) combined for 39 points, outscoring the Pacers, who trailed 55-37 at the break after shooting 36.6 percent from the field.

    Dunleavy came out hot in the third quarter, scoring 11 in a row for the Pacers, but the defense couldn't come up with many stops and thus the lead remained imposing. The Cavs, in fact, put together the only run of the quarter, scoring eight in a row to push the lead to 80-54 late in the period. It was 84-61 early in the fourth when the Pacers found some energy in the forms of young big men Diogu and Harrison.

    Those two combined for 15 points in a 21-7 run that trimmed the deficit to 91-82 with 2:29 remaining, but the Cavs scored six in a row from the line to put any thoughts of a steal to rest.


    TIDBITS
  • Coach Rick Carlisle opted to slide Ike Diogu into the starting lineup in Jeff Foster's place, giving the Pacers their 17th starting lineup of the season.
  • The Pacers again played without Jermaine O'Neal and Marquis Daniels, out with left knee injuries. Neither is expected to play Tuesday in Minnesota.
  • Jamaal Tinsley returned from his one-game suspension for violating team rules and was back in the starting lineup, though he played poorly (four points, 2-of-7 shooting, six turnovers, eight assists).
  • The Cavaliers were the sixth consecutive opponent riding a winning streak of at least three games.