Pacers at Cavaliers

Game Recap: Pacers 111, Cavaliers 102

The Pacers defeated the Cavaliers, 111-102. Domantas Sabonis led the way for the Pacers with 21 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists, his 2nd career 20-20 game, while Caris LeVert added 20 points and

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Game Recap: Pacers 111, Cavaliers 102

The Pacers defeated the Cavaliers, 111-102. Domantas Sabonis led the way for the Pacers with 21 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists, his 2nd career 20-20 game, while Caris LeVert added 20 points and
May 10, 2021  |  00:02

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Kelan Martin speak with the media following Indiana’s 111-102 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
May 10, 2021  |  02:29

Kelan Martin (25 points) Highlights vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Kelan Martin (25 points) Highlights vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 05/10/2021
May 10, 2021  |  00:01

LeVert & Domas Again

May 10, 2021: Caris LeVert fakes out the defense and gets it to a wide open Domantas Sabonis.
May 10, 2021  |  00:09

Martin From Beyond the Arc

May 10, 2021: Kelan Martin knocks down a triple.
May 10, 2021  |  00:08

LeVert & Domas Again

May 10, 2021: Caris LeVert fakes out the defense and gets it to a wide open Domantas Sabonis.
May 10, 2021  |  00:09

LeVert Goes Up

May 10, 2021: Caris LeVert slams it home.
May 10, 2021  |  00:09

Brissett Blocks It

May 10, 2021: Oshae Brissett rises for the block.
May 10, 2021  |  00:08

LeVert Stop n' Go

May 10, 2021: Caris LeVert makes a nice move on his way to two points.
May 10, 2021  |  00:09

McConnell to Martin

May 10, 2021: T.J. McConnell steals it and finds Kelan Martin for the slam.
May 10, 2021  |  00:12

Running the Floor

May 10, 2021: Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis run the fast break for two.
May 10, 2021  |  00:12

Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Cavaliers 102

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 7:30 PM ET at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Recap

After losing a close game in overtime to the Washington Wizards, the Pacers (32-36) picked up a much-needed, 111-102 win over the slumping Cleveland Cavaliers (21-48) at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The victory vaulted Indiana into ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings, making them one step closer to securing a Playoff Play-In spot.

Tied at 91 midway through the fourth, the Pacers used a 9-1 run to break open the game and take the lead for good. Indiana outscored 64-40 in the paint, and limited the Cavs' top scorer, Collin Sexton, to just 7-of-26 shooting from the floor.

In all, six Pacers finished in double figures, as a new face finished as the team's top scorer. Former Butler University star Kelan Martin finished with a career-high 25 points off the bench– including 12 in the fourth quarter. He also hauled in seven rebounds – four on the offensive glass.

"I've been playing significant minutes these last few games," he said postgame. "I knew when I was going in, I had to bring some energy. And that's what I did."

Domantas Sabonis also had a stellar night, recording a monstrous 21-point, 20 rebound double-double, Caris LeVert also finished with a double-double – his third – with 20 points and 10 assists. Taking over at point for an injured Malcolm Brogdon, the former Net has 30 assists over his last three games.

"We've been talking a lot about here lately of playing the right way, sharing the basketball, playing team offense, playing team defense," coach Nate Bjorkgren said. "You can see Caris out there trying to really push the pace in the half-court...you're also seeing him really trying to make the right plays."

Indiana started hot, connecting on seven of its first eight attempts from the floor. After rookie Isaac Okoro hit a pair of free throws for Cleveland, the Pacers responded with an 11-2 run, including nine straight, to jump out to an early lead. Four of five Indiana starters found buckets during the run. Oshae Brissett's three in the face of his defender then extended the Blue & Gold's lead to 16-6 with 8:21 left in the first.

But a few sloppy passes allowed the Cavaliers to catch up quickly. Threes from Jarrett Allen and Sexton in a 0:39 span capped a 12-4 run and brought the hosts back to within two, 20-18, and forced Indiana to call a timeout with 4:46 remaining.

When play resumed, Damyean Dotson's three from the right side pushed the Cavs ahead. From there, the squads battled tightly down the stretch. The Blue & Gold found themselves down 28-27 heading into the second.

Indiana then when cold from the field, amassing just seven points over the first 5:26 of the second frame. After briefly earning a 34-33 lead on a Justin Holiday's trey, the Cavs responded with 11 unanswered, including nine from long range, to take their first double-digit lead of the night (44-34) with 6:51 left in the half.

However, after a timeout, the squad turned it up a notch. Steals by McConnell and Aaron Holiday led to six uncontested fast-break points for Martin. In just 0:38, Indiana had cut Cleveland's lead to 46-42 with 4:43 to go.

The run continued for the Pacers even after a stoppage. The group recorded 11 unanswered to take a 47-46 lead at the 3:28 mark.

But they faltered once more as the Cavs starting scoring frequently in transition. The squad went scoreless for the final 1:19 of the half. Okoro's two-handed slam off an offensive rebound stretched Cleveland's lead to 60-53 just before halftime.

Four quick points from Doug McDermott showed promise for Indiana early in the third; however, the squad remained ice cold from the floor. They remained stuck at 57 points for a 3:09 span.

Luckily, McDermott continued to produce. The former Creighton forward notched five more points to cut Indiana's deficit to 66-64 with 6:21 to go.

After Sabonis' jumper tied things up, the Blue & Gold had multiple chances to take the lead after getting multiple defensive stops. But they came up empty. Then, they received a round of misfortune and found themselves in a hole once more.

Knotted at 68 apiece, Sabonis swatted away Okoro's floater. The ball bounced out of the hands of another Pacer and into the hands of Dean Wade beyond the arc. Wade drilled the three, and Okoro followed with a layup to give the Cavs a 73-68 lead with 3:09 left.

However, Indiana continued to fight. Trailing 74-68, the team responded with an 11-3 run, including two triples from Martin, to regain a 79-77 lead before the end of the frame.

Martin continued his impressive second half, scoring seven Pacers points over the first 4:13 of the fourth quarter to extend Indiana's lead to 91-86. However, Okoro responded with five straight to give the game a 91-all score with 6:25 to go.

Despite Okoro's response, Indiana remained tenacious. The squad opened up a 100-92 lead behind four points from Sabonis and another triple from Martin – his third – with 4:10 to play.

The defense then clamped down on the Cavs, limiting the hosts to just three points over the next 2:41. Martin and the Pacers pushed Indiana's lead to 105-95 before Allen sank a pair of free throws for Cleveland.

With 33.7 seconds to play, the Cavs cut the lead to 107-102 after Sexton notched 2-of-3 attempts from the charity stripe. But the Blue & Gold finished out the game at the free-throw line, going a perfect 4-for-4 to secure the win.

Inside the Numbers

After ending the first half on 3-of-12 shooting from long range, the Pacers knocked in eight of their 15 3-point attempts in the second half.

Doug McDermott finished in double figures for the 10th consecutive game (13 points on 6-of-9 shooting).

T.J. McConnell finished with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, four rebounds, and seven assists.

You Can Quote Me On That

"That's kind of how I play, to be honest. I've played a lot of point guard throughout my career. I think the first couple months here, I was kind of just off-the-ball a little bit. So, my job was kind of just to score it. But I'm comfortable playing with the ball in my hands. I know how to get guys shots." –LeVert on his increase in assists as of late

"As one of the leaders, it's always our responsibility to come out and play hard every game. Especially now, when we have so many guys out. We just got to come out and play hard – play hard and play together. The most important thing is once we move the ball to everybody – everybody gets going. Everybody gets happy." –Sabonis on stepping up while playing without Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, and Jeremy Lamb

"We played a good basketball game here tonight. We have to get on this airplane and learn what we can from this one, and learn what we can from the last time we played Philadelphia, and go out and play just as hard as we can. Just keep playing basketball the right way." –Bjorkgren on the condensed slate of games to end the regular season

Stat of the Night

The Pacers; bench outscored Cleveland's, 47-17. Martin scored 53.1 percent of the bench's points tonight.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won five straight and 11 of the last 14 contests against the Cavaliers.
  • Indiana swept the season series against Cleveland for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
  • Three of the final four Pacers opponents boast winning records, setting up a tough slate to end the regular season.

Up Next

The Pacers return home to host the East-leading Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, May 11 at 8:00 PM ET.

Tickets

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





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