Pacers at Cavaliers

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 115, Pacers 108

LeBron James posts a triple-double of 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists to lead the Cavaliers past the Pacers, 115-108

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GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 115, Pacers 108

LeBron James posts a triple-double of 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists to lead the Cavaliers past the Pacers, 115-108
Jan 26, 2018  |  02:31

Big Al With the Slam

January 26, 2018: Al Jefferson throws it down for a big slam
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:12

Joseph Beats The Shot Clock

January 26, 2018: Cory Joseph hits a step back triple with the shot clock expiring.
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:31

Young With a Big Putback

January 26, 2018: Off a miss, Thad Young hammers home a powerful putback.
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:15

Oladipo Finds Sabonis

January 26, 2018: Off a steal, Victor Oladipo hits Domantas Sabonis with a no-look pass that leads to an easy bucket.
Jan 26, 2018  |  01:36

Game Rewind: Pacers 108, Cavaliers 115

Friday, January 26, 2018 at 7:30 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena
by Greg Rappaport Writer

Game Recap

Despite the Pacers winnowing a 19-point deficit down to just five in the fourth quarter, Indiana was unable to complete the comeback on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, falling 115-108 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The loss spoiled what would have been only the second four-game sweep any team has had against a LeBron James-led team in which James played in all four games.

But James' performance on Friday served as an explanation as to why such a feat is so rare, posting a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists during Cleveland's seven-point win.

Aside from James, the Cavaliers (28-19) were aided by an incredible team shooting performance, racking up 73 points in the first half alone and finishing the game shooting 56 percent and canning 13-of-37 shots from behind the arc.

The offensive eruption from Cleveland overshadowed yet another impressive performance from newly-minted All-Star Victor Oladipo, who racked up a team-best 25 points in the loss.

Domantas Sabonis, who was recently named to the NBA's Rising Stars Game for All-Star Weekend, recorded a double-double, notching 17 points and 11 rebounds.

"I thought we played a better second half but we knew this team would come out aggressive and we didn't establish ourselves in the first half, gave up 72 or 73 points," said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. "We were able to do a better job defensively as well as offensively in that second half but we came up short."

Even when trailing by 19 points in the fourth quarter, the Pacers (26-23) showed no quit, as Cory Joseph sliced through the lane to cut the score to 103-93 with 8:17 remaining in the game.

With the light of a comeback leading the way, the Pacers continued to chip away, reeling off an 11-2 run as Darren Collison snuck behind the defense for an easy layup to get the lead down to seven.

After James and Isaiah Thomas scored to open up their lead, the Pacers charged right back, using a jump shot from Thaddeus Young to bring Indiana deficit to just five.

But from there, it was all LeBron James, who spun to the basket and put the game away with his game-high 26th point of the night as the Pacers' comeback bid simply ran out of time.

The Cavaliers shifted their starting lineup to begin the game, going big at the forwards with Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. The change paid quick dividends for the Cavs, as Cleveland built a 13-6 lead and snared three early offensive rebounds.

But midway through the quarter, Indiana's offense got started, scoring five unanswered points to force a Cavaliers timeout with 6:49 remaining in the first. Despite an impressive offensive first quarter from the Pacers, Cleveland poured it in from beyond the arc, connecting on six 3-pointers over the first 12 minutes to build a 38-31 lead.

With the second units on the floor to begin the second quarter, the Cavaliers' bench started to create seperation, opening up a eight-point advantage following a Jeff Green free throw.

However, as Oladipo and Indiana's starters returned to the game, the Pacers began to claw into the lead, cutting the score to 49-44 on a Darren Collison 3-pointer from the corner. Just as it seemed the Pacers were poised to to tie things up, Cleveland's offense reasserted itself again, going up 66-55 on a 3-pointer from Smith.

From there, The Cavs — who shot a red-hot 61.7 percent in the first half — took a 73-60 lead into the locker room.

The Pacers were slow to open the second half as Cleveland continued its onslaught, going up by 16 points when James drilled a 21-footer.

Just as it seemed the game might fall out of reach, Collison and Oladipo each hit from deep, cutting the deficit back to down 10 and forcing a Cavaliers timeout with 7:06 left in the third quarter.

Although they cut it to a seven-point lead at one point in the third quarter, the Cavaliers ended up outscoring the Pacers 24-20 in the frame, taking a 17-point lead into the fourth.

During the fourth, the Pacers showed a spark, getting the game to a two possession game in the final minutes. Indiana's offense was able to generate an open look for Collison in the corner, but his 3-point shot spun out, foiling the impressive rally from the Blue & Gold.

"It's a good offensive team and despite us playing good defense, They hit some tough shots," Collison said. "JR Smith, I'll give him credit, hit some tough shots with hands in his face. Kevin Love, D-Rose (Derrick Rose) had a good game too. It's still a good group that can play and score in different ways but I'm encouraged by our effort. There is no need to hang our heads, we just have to move on to the next game and try and get it."

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers were beat on the glass 44-37.

Indiana forced the Cavaliers into 21 turnovers which the Pacers turned into 26 points.

Darren Collison set a new career high with six steals.

You Can Quote Me On That

"We know they want to shoot the three ball and they got free in transition. I thought some of our offense execution in that first half, some of the quick shots and turnovers led to transition. We talked about that fueling their transition game and when they get out and run like that, force turnovers or you take quick shots, they run off those rebounds and turn them into points, layups and threes. That was a big part of it in the first half. That's what they want to do, they want rim attempts or 3-point shots and those guys got free tonight." -Pacers head coach Nate McMillan

"Just a little slow footed you could say in the first half. They didn't miss any shots which helped them out obviously but it was just tough giving up that many points in the first half. I thought in the second half we showed some resiliency, started getting into them a little more. We just have to do that for 48 minutes, which we know. It's not going to be perfect every day but we had a chance to win." -Victor Oladipo

"We got up, got comfortable, took some bad shots, a lot of bad shots, turned the basketball over and we didn't play the game the right way. It's been happening to us a lot. We built the lead playing the right way and we have to continue to do it for 48 minutes." Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue

Stat of the Night

Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was unstoppable from range on Friday night, sending home 7-of-13 3-point shots for 23 points.


  • TJ Leaf (right ankle sprain) and Myles Turner (sore right elbow) did not play.
  • Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose scored 14 points off the bench, making 6-of-8 shots.
  • The Pacers shot 13-of-31 (41.9 percent) from 3-point range.

Up Next

The Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 27 to host Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

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