Pacers at Cavaliers (Preseason)

Game Recap: Pacers 109, Cavaliers 100

The Pacers defeated the Cavaliers, 109-100. Malcolm Brogdon led all scorers with 27 points (12-14 FG), five rebounds and three assists for the Pacers, while Domantas Sabonis added 14 points and 10 reb

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Game Recap: Pacers 109, Cavaliers 100

The Pacers defeated the Cavaliers, 109-100. Malcolm Brogdon led all scorers with 27 points (12-14 FG), five rebounds and three assists for the Pacers, while Domantas Sabonis added 14 points and 10 reb
Oct 8, 2021  |  00:00

Malcolm Brogdon (27 points) Highlights vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Malcolm Brogdon (27 points) Highlights vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 10/08/2021
Oct 8, 2021  |  00:02

Lamb to Jackson

Oct 8, 2021  |  00:10

Sabonis 3-pointer

Oct 8, 2021  |  00:09

Domas Steal & Finish

Oct 8, 2021  |  00:08

Game Rewind: Pacers 109, Cavaliers 100 (Preseason)

Friday, October 8, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
by Brendan Rourke Contributor

Game Recap

The Pacers captured their first preseason win with a 109-100 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The squad took a slim four-point lead into halftime and extended it to as high as 13 in the second half thanks to a much-improved defensive effort. Indiana outrebounded the Cavs 50-30 and held the hosts to just 16 points on 6-of-21 shooting in the third quarter.

"I think we improved a lot, on a lot of things, especially on the defensive end," said Domantas Sabonis, who finished with a 14-point, 10 rebound double-double. "(We were) being more aggressive and setting the tone."

"The spirit and the disposition was much better tonight than in New York," head coach Rick Carlisle added about the team's improvement. "We're going to have to continue with that."

Malcolm Brogdon finished as the game's top scorer with 27 points on a scorching 12-of-14 shooting. Myles Turner and rookie Chris Duarte each finished with 11 apiece. Duarte earned the starting nod tonight in the shooting guard spot, getting the chance to run the floor with the Blue & Gold's usual starting suspects.

"I'm a huge fan of Chris," Brogdon said postgame. "I'm a huge fan of how he carries himself, his poise, his maturity, and his versatility."

Brogdon and Sabonis started out hot. The duo notched four points apiece in the opening two minutes to propel Indiana to an early 10-4 lead. The starters extended the lead to 15-7 before Ricky Rubio broke through and scored five straight to cut Indiana's lead to three.

A 6-0 spree from Cleveland helped the hosts grab their first lead of the game. However, it was short lived as Justin Holiday fired in a triple from the wing to put the Pacers ahead 20-18 with 4:43 to go in the first.

As the reserves rotated in, the teams traded small leads over the next few minutes. Leading 29-28, Brogdon checked back in and fired in a deep three from the right elbow to snag a 32-28 lead at the 1:34 mark. They held a three-point lead as the frame expired.

The game remained close over the early moments of the second. The Cavs got help in the form of a pair of triples from Dylan Windler while the Pacers found success with Sabonis and Brogdon once more. The duo tallied eight of the Pacers' first 10 points of the frame.

But Windler kept on firing from deep. His third 3-pointer of the period pushed the Cavs ahead 45-42 with 7:09 to play. The hot streak forced Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle to call a timeout.

Over the next few minutes, Indiana found success driving the lanes to keep the Cavs within a single possession. Brogdon's 10-foot floater from the right side eventually pushed Indiana ahead, 51-50, with 4:06 left.

Although the Pacers stretched the lead to four, all eyes were focused on the health of Holiday. As the forward attempted to step around a screen, he rolled his left ankle and hopped off the court. He headed straight to the locker room with the help of two athletic trainers.

On the court, Indiana kept a small lead to close out the half. Torrey Craig notched five points over the final 2:07 while Brogdon added a layup with 41.7 left to earn a 63-59 edge at the break.

The Blue & Gold stretched the lead to double digits over the first three minutes of the third. Myles Turner started the scoring with a three, then Brogdon continued his hot night with another pair of buckets. Sabonis tacked on a pair at the charity stripe to make it 72-62 in favor of Indiana.

The squad's interior defense appeared much more improved as the minutes continued ticking off in the third. The rotation and closeouts were crisp, hands were active, and Indiana often limited the Cavs to just one shot per possession. The Blue & Gold led 74-67 at the 5:19 mark of the frame.

Thanks to their defense, the Pacers maintained a steady advantage late into the third quarter. On offense, the crew found floaters from Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb to pull ahead 80-69 with 3:04 remaining.

However, the Cavs were determined to make a run. A Dean Wade layup started a 6-0 Cleveland spree to cut Indiana's lead to five. Although the run was quickly squashed after Sabonis and Lamb each knocked in a pair of threes to extend the lead back to 86-75 with 1:21 to go. The score remained the same as the teams entered the final frame.

Newly signed point guard Brad Wanamaker knocked in his first bucket early in the fourth to give Indiana its largest lead of the game, 90-78. From there, their lead fluctuated between 12 and seven points as the quarter ticked past the halfway mark.

The story remained the same as Indiana played solidly on the defensive end midway through the frame. After an alley-oop finish from 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall, the Pacers responded with a 3-pointer from Goga Bitadze and a running slam from Duane Washington Jr to jump ahead 99-87 with 5:01 remaining.

From there, Indiana finished out the rest of the game without much of a problem. The Blue & Gold will play their final two preseason games at home against the Memphis Grizzlies and the Cavaliers next week.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers played 16 different players tonight against the Cavs. 14 of them recorded points during the game.

Chris Duarte finished in double figures for the second consecutive preseason game.

Brad Wanamaker saw his first action as a Pacer. He finished with two points and five assists in 12:13 of playing time.

Indiana blocked seven shots tonight on defense. Isaiah Jackson led the team with three.

You Can Quote Me On That

"The most impressive thing about (Duarte) is that he's a top lottery pick — a guy with a lot of clout, a lot of attention coming in. But he wants to learn. He's soaking everything up. He's asking questions, he listens. He's going to be really really good." –Brogdon on Duarte

"I thought it all started with Brogdon's defense on the ball as our out-front defender. He was physical. He was vocal, and others followed in line." –Carlisle on the improved defense in the second half

"I feel like I'm adjusting really well. Coach in practice, and also when I'm on the court, he just emphasizes learning. It's preseason right now, so I feel like (it's a learning experience for) everybody on the team. It's been fun." –Isaiah Jackson on how he feels after his first two preseason games

Stat of the Night

After forcing just four turnovers against the New York Knicks, Indiana's defense forced 20 Cleveland turnovers which turned into 23 Pacers points.


  • With 4:19 to play in the second, Justin Holiday sprained his left ankle. If the injury is slow to heal, he could miss a regular season game for the first time in three years.
  • 10 of the 16 Pacers players that took the floor played at least 12 minutes of game time.
  • T.J. McConnell finished with a game-high seven assists off the bench.

Up Next

The Pacers return home to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 7:00 PM ET.


The Pacers host Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat for Opening Night presented by Gainbridge on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 PM ET. Secure your seats today and help fill Gainbridge Fieldhouse to cheer on your Pacers. Find Tickets »


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