Player of the Game
TROY MURPHY
Steady veteran produced his fourth straight double-double and 30th of the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds, adding five assists and two steals.
Plus-Minus
Name Game Season
Dunleavy -5 -69
Ford DNP -173
Foster DNP -9
Granger DNP -125
Hansbrough DNP -56
Head DNP +7
Hibbert -6 -38
D. Jones -21 -250
S. Jones 0 -142
McRoberts -4 -68
Murphy +8 -365
Price +7 +22
Rush -3 -244
Watson -1 -210
Noteworthy
  • With leading scorer Danny Granger out (cheekbone), Dahntay Jones moved into the Pacers' 24th different starting lineup of the season.
  • The Pacers dropped to 7-13 without Granger (.350). They're 15-33 (.313) with him.
  • With 30 points tonight, Cleveland has averaged 34.7 in the first quarters in three games against the Pacers.
  • Indiana's last win in Cleveland was 109-104 in double overtime on Nov. 3, 2004.
  • Mike Dunleavy left the game briefly after taking a shot to his previously wounded ribs from Anderson Varejao but returned.
  • With tonight’s win over Indiana, the Cavaliers have clinched their second consecutive Central Division title and third in franchise history (1975-76, 2008-09).
  • Cleveland won the battle inside, outscoring the Pacers 56-30 in points in the paint. They also had a 17-8 advantage in second chance points.
  • Hustle Board
    Points in the paint:
    Cavs 56, Pacers 30
    Second-chance points:
    Cavs 17, Pacers 8
    Fast-break points:
    Cavs 19, Pacers 18
    Points off turnovers:
    Cavs 22, Pacers 15
    Starters scoring:
    Pacers 71, Cavs 71
    Bench scoring:
    Cavs 28, Pacers 23
    Stat of the Night
    The Cavs won their 24th consecutive game against teams with losing records.
    Up Next
    The Pacers return home to face the Detroit Pistons on Friday at Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
    Related links
  • Blog replay
  • Video
  • Box score
  • Recap

  • END RESULT
    Trailing by 18 early in the fourth quarter, the Pacers needed more than a spark to get back in the game against the best team in the Eastern Conference. They got a blowtorch from their young threesome of A.J. Price, Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert, who brought them almost all the way back before falling just short at the finish, 99-94, Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

    The three combined for 17 points in a 22-5 run that cut the Cavs' lead to 88-87 but the Pacers would get no closer as LeBron James took over, finishing off his 32-point, nine-rebound, nine-assist game with three straight scores to answer the Indiana run.

    In the absence of leading scorer Danny Granger, out with an upper cheek injury, Roy Hibbert had 20 and Troy Murphy posted his fourth straight double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds for Indiana.

    IMPACT
    Despite the impressive performance, the Pacers lost their ninth straight on the road, falling to 22-46 overall and 7-30 away from Conseco Fieldhouse. They also lost their 10th straight in Cleveland, a streak that dates back to 2004. The Cavs won their fifth in a row overall and seventh straight at home to improve to 54-15, 30-4 in the friendly confines.

    QUOTEWORTHY
  • “In the last two road games, we’ve given ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter and came up short against good teams and we’ve won our last three home games. So, things are starting to pick up for us.” -- Jim O'Brien
  • "I think he's going to be fine. He was released from the hospital. He did not have a fracture of his cheekbone. Our doctors will look at him, evaluate him, just go day-to-day and see where he is." – O'Brien on Danny Granger's injury
  • “They knew we were calling their number a lot. And, they have confidence in their ability to score and the more their confidence builds, the better NBA players they will be. It’s good to have young guys that are constantly improving.” -- O'Brien on Hibbert, Rush and Price
  • "The Cavs are an extremely good team, but I think when we play a game together, we can really be a dangerous team because we have extremely good three-point shooters and we’ve got guys who can slash to the basket and score in the paint. Unfortunately, it hasn’t come together this year, but I think we’re showing signs of improvement.” -- Hibbert
  • “We’re going to be playing together for the next couple of years, and it’s definitely a good sign that we played pretty well against a great team. A.J. (Price) played good and Roy (Hibbert) played good, so it’s definitely a good look for us in the future.” -- Rush

    KEY MOMENTS
    With Shaquille O'Neal out and Zydrunas Ilgauskas not yet re-signed, the Pacers worked their primary matchup advantage right away with Roy Hibbert in the post and he scored 10 in the first quarter. The Cavs were leading 37-31 early in the second when five different players scored in an 11-0 run that gave the Pacers a 42-37 lead. But the Cavs countered, closing the half on a 13-6 burst to take a 50-46 lead into the break.

    James was relatively quiet in the first half but came out aggressively in the third, sparking a 16-2 run with nine points as the Cavs threatened to break it open, taking a 66-50 lead. But Price and Mike Dunleavy played well off the bench to keep things from getting further out of hand.

    Price and Rush got the fourth-quarter run started with 3-pointers as the Pacers started their comeback with James on the bench but continued it after he returned. Earl Watson's jumper cut it to 88-87 with 4:53 left and the Pacers got the ball back with the chance to take the lead. But James blocked Rush's drive and that ignited the Cavs, who scored seven in a row to take a 95-87 lead.

    Again the Pacers countered from long range as 3-pointers from Rush and Price cut it to 97-93 but James made a tough shot in the lane with 1:08 left and the Pacers could only produce one free throw on their final two possessions.

    BY THE NUMBERS
    Hibbert was a major factor with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, adding five rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes. Murphy made 4-of-7 from the 3-point line and had 19 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Price had 14 points, six assists and four rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Rush scored 13 and blocked four shots and Dahntay Jones scored 10 with six assists.

    James was 11-of-24 and found up one rebound and one assist shy of a triple-double, though he did have six turnovers. Antawn Jamison scored 17 with nine rebounds, while J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao had 13 apiece.



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