Pacers at Cavaliers

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 135, Pacers 130

Paul George scores 43 points but LeBron James drops a triple-double with 41 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Cavaliers over the Pacers in double overtime, 135 to 130.

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GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 135, Pacers 130

Paul George scores 43 points but LeBron James drops a triple-double with 41 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Cavaliers over the Pacers in double overtime, 135 to 130.
Apr 2, 2017  |  03:16

Highlights: Paul George's 43 Points

Paul George nearly notches a triple-double with 43 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists in a losing effort against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Apr 2, 2017  |  01:51

PG Finishes Strong in OT

April 2, 2017 - Paul George gets the step on his defender and takes its strong to the rack for the finish in overtime.
Apr 2, 2017  |  00:08

Paul George Slams on James

April 2, 2017 - Pacers forward Paul George drove to the hoop and slammed one with his left hand.
Apr 2, 2017  |  00:11

Miles on Fire from Downtown

April 2, 2017 - Lance Stephenson gets his first basket back as a member of the Pacers.
Apr 2, 2017  |  00:06

Lance Ties It Up

April 2, 2017 - Lance Stephenson takes advantage of the isolation and takes it to the basket, tying the game at 75.
Apr 2, 2017  |  00:13

Myle Turner's Block Leads to Hoop

April 4, 2017 - Pacers center Myles Turner blocked a shot that created instant offense for Indiana.
Apr 2, 2017  |  00:11

Thaddeus Young to the Hoop

April 2, 2017 - Thaddeus Young got open on the pick and roll and slammed it.
Apr 2, 2017  |  00:06

Game Rewind: Pacers 130, Cavaliers 135 (2 OT)

Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport






Game Recap

Despite a season-high 43 points from Paul George in a double OT, instant classic in Cleveland, the Pacers fell 135-130 on Sunday night to LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

The defeat was the Pacers' fourth straight loss and sixth in their last seven games, further dampening Indiana's playoff outlook.

George put forth his best performance of the season, notching his season high in scoring while adding nine assists and nine rebounds in the process.

"At this point, it's whatever the team needs from me," said George, who played 48 minutes. "I will give whatever I have, and do whatever I have to do. That is what tonight came down to. Whether I was going to make or miss those shots, I was confident in taking them. At this point, it's whatever this team needs from me."

The man guarding George, however, was James, who had a herculean performance of his own, scoring 41 points to go along with 15 rebounds and 11 assists.

In the second overtime, the teams traded 3-pointers as George seemingly had the answer to every Cleveland basket, but eventually, a three from Kevin Love put the Cavs up 131-127 with under 30 seconds remaining, a gap Indiana was unable to overcome.

Regulation featured a frantic two minutes of play that started with C.J. Miles — who finished with a season-high 27 points — draining a 3-pointer to give the Pacers a two-point lead.

On the Cavaliers' next possession, LeBron James evaded the Pacers' defense during an offensive rebound and hammered home a dunk to knot the game at 104.

Both teams had a chance to take the lead, but Tristan Thompson missed a pair of free throws and Myles Turner's shot with 1.4 seconds left fell short, sending the game to overtime.

In the first overtime, it looked like lights out for the Pacers when J.R. Smith drained a triple from the corner to put the Cavs up 114-113 with 2.8 seconds left. But on the other end, George was fouled while attempting to hit a game-winner. At the foul line, PG missed on his first but connected on the second, tying the game at 114 all.

The Pacers got another chance at it and the responsibility to hit the winner once again rested on George's shoulders. Although he managed to find room to get the shot, it was just off, sending the game to its second overtime period.

In the second overtime, George gave the Pacers (37-40) their first lead of the period after picking up a bucket and a foul when Kyrie Irving made contact with him, putting the Blue & Gold up 117-116. But on the next possession, Kevin Love nailed a hook shot to put Cleveland (49-27) back on top. With the Pacers playing a small lineup, Love took advantage of the Pacers, powering his way to an offensive rebound and putback bucket in the paint to establish a 120-117 Cavaliers lead with 2:36 remaining.

With the game in danger of slipping away, George delivered another strike, throwing up a 3-point shot to tie the game at 120. However, a three from J.R. Smith on the other end gave the Cavs a three-point lead. But George responded, hitting on a midrange jumper for his 38th point of the night. Although the Cavs responded with another bucket, George was in a rare zone, sinking his 40th point with a turnaround jumper to bring the Pacers' deficit back down to just one.

LeBron James gave the Cavaliers a brief cushion, drilling a 3-pointer to go up by four, but George fired right back, hitting his sixth three of the night. The long-range shooting expo continued when the Cavs were back in control, with Kevin Love draining a dagger from the wing to put the Cavs up 131-127 with 26.5 left in the second OT.

Love's shot proved to be too much of an obstacle to overcome, as George's season-best night wasn't enough to topple the defending champions.

"They hit some amazing shots," Jeff Teague said. "That's what they do. They have been doing it all year. They always have a lot of shooting on the floor one through five. That's why they are a good team."

In the loss, Indiana debuted Lance Stephenson, who resigned with the Pacers earlier this week. Stephenson got his first points on a layup midway though the second quarter, and finished his night with four points and three assists in 18 minutes.

Out of the halftime locker room, the Pacers opened up the second third quarter with force, outscoring the Cavaliers 18-11 to tie the game on a George jumper from the elbow.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

With the bench unit in the game, Stephenson drove to the basket and got a layup to go in off the glass to tie the game up once more at 75.

In the closing minutes of the third, the Cavs pulled ahead once more, taking an 83-77 lead into the fourth quarter in Cleveland.

That run ended up spilling over into the fourth, where the Cavs capped a 13-0 run, nearly putting the game out of reach.

But Indiana — fighting for its postseason — responded by outscoring the Cavaliers 27-21 in the fourth quarter, sending the game to its thrilling double-overtime finish.

In the first half, the Pacers got off to a quick start thanks to the play of George, who threw down a thundering dunk over LeBron James to give Indiana an 11-7 lead. Despite a Cavs rally, Indiana maintained control in the first quarter, carrying a one-point edge into the second quarter.

Stephenson scored his first points for the Pacers at the 8:47 mark in the second quarter to cut the lead to three. On Indiana's next possession, Stephenson found C.J. Miles in the corner to tie things at 34.

From there, the Cavs stepped up their play. The defending champions put together a 14-4 run to lead 48-38 with just under five minutes in the half.

But the Pacers didn't fold, getting the deficit back to down six with 2:14 to go, and were able to enter the locker room trailing by just seven.

In the second half and overtime periods, the game became a true clash of stars between James and George, who each surpassed 40 points in one of the most memorable performances of George's career. Unfortunately, in the hostile road environment, the Pacers were unable to top the Cavaliers, who escaped with the five-point victory on their home floor.

"If we play the way we played tonight in our remaining games, we will be okay," said head coach Nate McMillan. "I thought they responded well tonight. It was a heavyweight fight, they punched us, and we punched them. It came down to the last punch, and we just needed to make some more plays down the stretch to win the game. The way we played in this game, you have to respect that."

Inside the Numbers

Paul George scored 19 of his points in overtime, and dished out a season-best nine assists in the game.

George was a team-high +17 while on the floor Sunday.

As a team, the Pacers made 16-of-41 3-pointers. The Cavaliers made 18-of-43.

The Pacers only committed 11 turnovers in the loss.

You Can Quote Me On That

"Lebron was guarding him from the start of the game. Paul usually plays against two to three guys every night. Tonight, they were shadowing him with a big man, or whoever he was coming off of the screen with. The last play of regulation they trapped him and he was able to get (CJ) Miles an open look. We stopped bringing players to Paul and started to allow him to come off of screens and play. He did a great job of working to get his shot up. I thought our guys did a good job of screening, and being physical. He made some big shots and kept us in the game." -Pacers head coach Nate McMillan

"We had a chance to win the game. That's all you can ask for in a road game against
the defending champs. It was a great game, we just didn't pull it out." -Jeff Teague

"We have to get on a roll and win some games. In the playoffs, he's going to have to guard the best player at that position. He wanted to take the challenge tonight. Paul George made some tough shots. They know they can't post LeBron, so they tried to run him around off a lot of screens to try and wear him down. Paul George was effective tonight doing that." -Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue

Stat of the Night

Paul George became the first Pacers player (since rebounds and assists became official statistics in 1983-84) to finish with 43 or more points, nine or more rebounds, and nine or more assists, according to Basketball-Reference.com

Noteworthy

  • Lance Stephenson had four points, three assists, and three rebounds in 18 minutes
  • C.J. Miles scored 27 points off the bench, knocking down 5-of-9 from long range
  • Jeff Teague recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists
  • Kyrie Irving was just 5-of-20 from the field but scored 23 points, hitting 11-of-11 free throws

Up Next

After a three-game road trip, the Pacers will return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 PM ET. That night will also be the 2010s Decade Game and all fans in attendance will receive a bobblehead of All-Star forward Paul George. Find Tickets »

Away Game Night Special

"We are Indiana" T-Shirt - $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM - Midnight. Order Online »

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