Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena
Game Rewind: Pacers 82, Cavaliers 78
Scott Agness | January 5, 2014
Before the Pacers played in Cleveland Sunday night, the Cavaliers announced that Kyrie Irving, who suffered a left knee contusion in Indy last Tuesday, would miss his third consecutive game. His backup, Jarrett Jack, also was out due to lower back spasms. That put the Pacers up against an undermanned but hungry Cavaliers team.
The Pacers (27-6) had five players in double figures and held off a late charge by the Cavaliers (11-23) for another win, 82-78 the final.
Neither team shot it well all game long, but the Cavaliers did a great job of rebounding their own misses early on. As they bricked shots, the Pacers ran off a 12-2 run and despite being whipped on the boards (17-9), they had a four-point edge after one quarter.
Pacers forward Danny Granger played the entire second quarter and chipped in seven points during that time. C.J. Miles, who has the ability to score in bunches, had 15 first-half points for Cleveland. After the Cavs held a 27-26 advantage, the Pacers ended the half with an 18-8 run for a nine-point lead.
Out of the locker room, it was Cleveland that started the half strong. They used a 10-1 spurt to draw to within two. The Cavs made just 5-of-22 field goals in the third, but they had 14 attempts at the free throw line and they converted on 12 of them. Indiana scored the final seven points in the quarter to stretch their lead back up to nine.
The Pacers’ momentum carried over to the final period. Granger capped a 14-0 run with an outside shot, putting the Pacers ahead by 16 — their largest lead of the game. Even without their point guards, the Cavs didn’t fade away. As the Pacers missed nine straight shots, the Cavs went on an 18-3 run, including 12 straight from Dion Waiters, to cut it to one, 77-76, with 1:44 to play.
Roy Hibbert scored on a huge putback and then made 1-of-2 foul shots after Anderson Varejao scored at the other end. Down 80-78, Waiters had two chances to tie the game or give Cleveland the lead, but couldn't convert. Hibbert pulled down the rebound on the second miss and again converted 1-of-2 free throws to push Indiana's lead to three with seven seconds remaining.
On the ensuing inbounds, Cavs forward Earl Clark stepped out of bounds, giving it right back to the Pacers, who led the entire second half and went on to claim their ninth straight win over the Cavs. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but when the Pacers look back to this game months later, they’ll only recall that it was another win on their mission towards a No. 1 playoff seed.
Instead of flying home after the game as usual, the Pacers will remain in Cleveland overnight due to Indy’s snowstorm.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers shot a season-low 36.4 percent and still managed to get the win. Paul George finished with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists. Roy Hibbert tallied 15, and both Lance Stephenson and Danny Granger had 10 each. With 11 points tonight, David West finished in double figures for the first time in four games.
Cavs guard C.J. Miles scored a game-high 21points, one point shy of his season-high. Dion Waiters had 14, with 12 scored in the final period, and Tristan Thompson recorded his 14th double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) of the season.
Points in the paint weren’t easy to come by for either team. Indiana scored a season-low 22 and Cleveland outscored them by four. The Cavs were also +10 on fast break points with 12.
The Pacers improve to 24-1 when holding a lead after three quarters.
The Pacers have the league’s best record (27-6), and they improved to 19-4 in the East and 6-2 vs. Central Division foes.
“It was a good win for our guys. Games like that are never as easy as they should be, when you have a bunch of key guys out. They’re dangerous games and I give our guys credit for playing a great game and doing enough to get a win.” – Frank Vogel
“There was no style points tonight. None. Zero. I can assure you of that. Unless you like defense. Our defense was pretty strong most of the night. We weren’t fouling, we were showing good discipline and forced enough turnovers and forced enough misses.” – Frank Vogel
“We didn’t finish the game the right way. They just hung around and hung around and obviously they made some shots, but our defense held strong.” – David West
“We’ve been in that situation so many times. I know coach is going to be on us about giving up a big lead. We feel like we’ve been in that position so many times where we know how to play in that situation. The best thing for us was to just stay together and hold them off for the last couple possessions.” – Paul George
Stat of the Game
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).
- The Pacers have dominated this matchup, winners in 15 of the last 16 meetings and four in a row in Cleveland.
- With Irving and Jack sidelined, the Cavs inserted Matt Dellavedova for their 10th different starting lineup this season.
- Paul George received a technical foul in the third quarter.