Pacers at Cavaliers

Game Preview: Pacers at Cavaliers

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 7:30 PM ET at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

After suffering a tough one-point overtime loss to the Washington Wizards, the Pacers (31-36) look to rebound against the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Indiana's magic number to clinch a spot in the Play-In Tournament is currently three.

Sitting at a record of 21-47, the Cavaliers are already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Cleveland's last victory came on April 21. In total, they have won just seven games since the All-Star break. To make matters worse, J.B. Bickerstaff's squad has been dealing with numerous injuries. On May 4, the team was granted a hardship exception by the NBA in order to acquire longtime veteran Anderson Varejao for roster depth purposes. On May 5, he appeared in his first NBA game since 2017.

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Nevertheless, if Indiana wants to secure its first sweep of the Cavs during the regular season since 2012-13, they will have to find a way to contain Collin Sexton. Despite the team's struggles as a whole, the talented guard from Alabama is averaging 24.4 points per game for the Cavs. He has tallied 24 points or more in four of his last five contests.

The Pacers will once again rely on the dynamic duo of Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis to be the squad's primary offensive threats. Both have scored at least 30 points in three out of their last four outings. Look for Doug McDermott to add a boost as well. The forward has averaged 15 points on 50 percent shooting over the first two games against Cleveland this season.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Caris LeVert, SG - Edmond Sumner, SF - Doug McDermott, PF - Oshae Brissett, C - Domantas Sabonis
Cavaliers: PG - Collin Sexton, SG - Isaac Okoro, SF - Dean Wade, PF - Kevin Love, C - Jarrett Allen

Injury Report

Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore right hamstring), Jeremy Lamb - questionable (sore left knee), JaKarr Sampson - out (concussion), Myles Turner - out (partial plantar plate tear, right foot great toe), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)

Cavaliers: Kevin Love - probable (left knee contusion), Isaiah Hartenstein - questionable (concussion evaluation), Cedi Osman - questionable (sore right ankle), Matthew Dellavedova - out (neck strain), Darius Garland - out (sprained left ankle), Larry Nance Jr. - out (right thumb fracture), Taurean Prince - out (left ankle surgery), Lamar Stevens - out (concussion), Dylan Windler - out (left knee surgery)

Last Meeting

March 3, 2021: The Pacers picked up a narrow 114-111 win over the Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse thanks to the historic efforts of T.J. McConnell off the bench. The win halted a four-game skid for the Blue & Gold and ended a four-game winning streak for Cleveland

The former Arizona guard finished with 16 points, 13 assists, and 10 steals — one of the rarest triple-doubles in the NBA. It was the sixth such performance in NBA history and the first since Mookie Blaylock in 1998. He finished the first half with nine steals, setting a new NBA record. He swiped his 10th steal with just 1:06 to play to secure the win down the stretch.

In total, six Pacers finished in double figures, including four starters. Malcolm Brogdon finished with a team-high 29 on 12-of-15 shooting. He nailed all three of his 3-point attempts. Domantas Sabonis added 18, five boards, and six assists.

Despite forcing 18 first-half turnovers for 28 points, the Pacers still found themselves trailing 61-51 after the first two quarters. Indiana trailed by as many as 19 in the second half before they began clawing their way back. They entered the fourth quarter down, 90-82.

Before five minutes had ticked off in the fourth, Indiana trimmed Cleveland's lead to one. With 6:36 to play, they took their first lead since the second quarter after Edmond Sumner picked off an inbounds pass and took it to the other end. Later, trailing 106-105, Indiana forced consecutive over-and-back violations on defense. With 1:18 to play, Sabonis found Justin Holiday on the left wing for a three that would give Indiana the lead for good. Brogdon finished the night by scoring the last six Indiana points.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana has won four straight and 10 of the last 13 regular-season matchups in the series.
  • The Pacers hold a 104-94 edge in the all-time regular-season series.
  • Over the first two contests against the Cavs, six Pacers are averaging double figures.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all remaining Pacers home games are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)





by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

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