99
89

Friday, December 21th at 7:30 PM EST at Quicken Loans Arena

Game Rewind: IND 99, CLE 89

by Scott Agness

Game Rewind

Nearly even through two quarters, the Pacers used a pair of runs in the third to mount a double digit lead en route to a 99-89 win over the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers. Entering the game, the Cavaliers (5-23) had lost five in a row and 10 off their last 11 games, so it was a game the Pacers (15-12) had to take care of.

The Cavs started the game cold, missing eight of their first nine shots, and they went down five. Their shots then began to drop and the game was even after the first quarter. Indiana’s passes weren’t crisp but they were sharing the ball well, posting eight assists on nine field goals in the opening period.

Coach Vogel went with his bench to start the second quarter but it didn’t go very well. C.J. Miles, who scored 21 in the first half against the Pacers last time, scored the Cavs' first seven points and they went ahead five, their largest lead all game. After a couple substitutions for the Pacers, they went on a 9-0 run and regained the lead 41-36. Their offense stalled over the final five minutes and the Cavaliers held a 45-44 edge at the break.

The Pacers shot 68 percent from the field in the third quarter and scored 33 points to build a double digit advantage heading into the final stanza. They used two big runs, first an 11-2 run and then 10-0 to build a cushion on the Cavs. David West had nine points and four rebounds while playing the entire third.

Things got testy a bit in the opening minutes of the fourth. Tyler Hansbrough and Tristan Thompson each received technical fouls and then a couple plays later, Gerald Green got T’d up for staring down Samardo Samuels after a big dunk. Less than a minute later, he requested out of the game and limped back to the locker room with a sprained left ankle. The Pacers comfortably held on for a 99-89 victory and they’ve now won five of their last six games.

Inside the Numbers

Both teams had balanced scoring, with six players each in double-figures. Pacers big man Roy Hibbert led the Pacers for the first time all season with 18 points. David West had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Gerald Green added 14 off the bench.

Kyrie Irving scored a quiet 17 points, Tristan Thompson had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Indiana native Tyler Zeller chipped in 12 points in his second-career start.

For the Pacers, 11 offensive rebounds led to 20 second-chance points. They also outscored the Cavs 52-36 in the paint.

Indiana registered 24 assists on 39 made field goals, but turned the ball over 18 times. The Cavaliers scored 26 points off those turnovers.

Indiana and Cleveland were even in the first and fourth quarter and the Pacers only outscored the Cavaliers in the third quarter, but it was by a big enough margin to propel them to the win.

Quoteworthy

“We had a great balance with our starting five with all guys in double figures. Most of them shot a good percentage. I also thought we did a really good job on Kyrie Irving both on the ball and as a team, as well.” – Frank Vogel

“We stopped hurting ourselves. We came in at halftime and felt like we were seeing self-inflicted wounds. We had a lot of unforced turnovers and we took care of the basketball and we were more solid.” – Frank Vogel on their third quarter push

“I thought he played well. He’s just coming back from an ankle injury and he got out in transition and made some plays. He also made his presence felt on the perimeter defensively.” – David West on Lance Stephenson’s play

Stat of the Game

Lance Stephenson had arguably his best night as a pro. He recorded a career-high seven assists along with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, two steals and no turnovers in 33 minutes.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won their last four meetings with the Cavs.
  • Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Green and Tristan Thompson all received technical fouls in the first minutes of the final quarter.
  • Gerald Green sustained a sprained left ankle in the fourth quarter, but did return.
  • Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (right knee) missed his second straight game.

Up Next

The Pacers head down to New Orleans to face the Hornets on Saturday at 8:00 PM EST.

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