Rewind: Pacers vs. Cavaliers 120215


Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Cleveland

Game Rewind: Cavs 98, Pacers 87


Another slow start, another big halftime deficit and, ultimately, another loss.

After giving up 68 points and falling behind by 29 by intermission in a 105-90 loss to Miami Tuesday, the Pacers surrendered 56 points and trailed by 18 at the break in Cleveland Wednesday and fell 98-87 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Without leading scorer Danny Granger (sprained left ankle), the Pacers shot 37 percent and had just nine assists, trailing by double figures most of the night in losing their fifth consecutive game to fall to 17-12 overall, 10-8 on the road.

The Cavs (11-16) snapped losing streaks of two overall and six to the Pacers behind rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 22.


Darren Collison scored 18 on 7-of-12 shooting to lead the Pacers but had just three assists. Roy Hibbert had 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting, adding eight rebounds. Paul George scored all 11 of his points in the second half and shot 4-of-14. David West had 10 points and 10 rebounds but shot 4 of 15. A.J. Price scored 11 off the bench. Dahntay Jones, who started at small forward, scored three points on 1-of-8 shooting.

Irving shot 8 of 12 for the Cavs, adding five assists. Semih Erden had a career-high 18 points and season-high eight rebounds, with Antawn Jamison adding 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Ramon Sessions had 13 points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench and Omri Casspi scored 10. The Cavs shot 47 percent, made 10 3-pointers and assisted on 24 of their 36 buckets.


"Kyrie Irving was terrific. We didn’t guard the three well enough and we didn’t execute offensively well enough to get the (win). Our pick and roll defense is not tied together. We’re working on it (and) it will improve. It’s a long season." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel

"I’m probably not doing a good job, myself, being a leader. Secondly, I don’t think it has anything to do with injuries; it’s just a matter of us being able to focus. We know the things we’re messing up on. It’s not like we have never seen it (before)." - Collison

"This season, this is the first time (we’re) facing adversity and it hurts. It really hurts. Then again it’s a long season and some of the veterans told me that you have to have a short-term memory and the next game is its own opportunity." - Collison


In the first halves of the five games in their current losing streak, the Pacers have yielded averages of 58.0 points on 112-of-208 shooting (.538) and been outscored by 65 points. Cleveland scored 56 points, shot .579 and held an 18-point halftime lead Wednesday.


In Granger's absence, the Pacers needed bigger contributions from a number of people but particularly George and West. Neither had an impact on the first half. George picked up three fouls in four minutes and West shot 1-of-11 as the Pacers once again dug a big early hole.

Cleveland shot 13 of 21 in the first quarter in building a 32-20 lead and remained in double digits in the second period, growing to as many as 21 points before settling at 56-38 at the break. The Pacers shot 14 of 46 (.304) in the half and had just two assists -- the fewest in a half by any NBA team this season.

Collison and West got the offense moving in the third period, combining for 16 points, but the defense couldn't come up with enough stops for the Pacers to make a move. The opportunity arrived in the closing minutes of the third and opening of the fourth as the Cavs missed nine in a row in a span of nearly seven minutes but the Pacers scored just 11 in that time and got no closer than 79-67.

Ramon Sessions ended the Cleveland drought with a three-point play and Antawn Jamison followed with a putback and just like that the lead was 17 with six minutes left and the surge was protected.


The Pacers have allowed four 20-point games to rookies this season -- two by Irving, one each by Marshon Brooks of New Jersey, who they'll see tomorrow, and Norris Cole of Miami Tuesday. … Lance Stephenson made the first 3-pointer of his career in the first quarter. Stephenson had been 0-of-18 from the arc, including 0-of-13 this season. … Granger had his ankle taped up and went through a warmup just before the game but lacked the mobility to play. This was his second missed game of the season, as he sat out a 96-86 loss in Philadelphia on Jan. 9 with food poisoning. … Granger had to hate the timing of his injury because he has averaged 26.6 points and shot 50 percent from the 3-point line in five games against Cleveland in the post-LeBron James era. … Pacers sixth man George Hill missed his ninth consecutive game with a chip fracture in his left ankle. … The Cavs were without center Anderson Varejao (10.8 points, 11.5 rebounds), who has a fractured wrist. He was replaced in the lineup by Semih Erden. … They also missed shooting guard Anthony Parker (lower back strain), who was replaced by Daniel Gibson, who limped out with a sprained ankle in the third quarter. … This was the fourth of a nine-game homestand for the Cavs, the longest in franchise history and tied for the third-longest ever


Wrapping up their first back-to-back-to-back set in 13 years, the Pacers return home to host the New Jersey Nets Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). Indiana already owns two victories over the Nets, 108-94 on Jan. 2 and 106-99 on Jan. 31. Paul George has been unstoppable against the Nets, shooting 16 of 21 (.762) overall and 9 of 11 (.818) from the 3-point line in piling up 45 points. New Jersey brings a seven-game losing streak into the game.


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