Game Rewind: Pacers 97, Cavaliers 101
Paul George and Monta Ellis combined for 57 points on Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, but the Cavaliers (6-1) held on for a narrow 101-97 win over the Pacers (3-4) at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs’ victory snapped Indiana’s three-game winning streak and was Cleveland’s sixth straight victory since dropping their season opener in Chicago on Oct. 28.
Cleveland led by as many as 11 points in the second half and nine points in the fourth quarter, but the Pacers mounted an impressive rally.
After trailing 86-77 with 8:36 to play, Indiana reeled off a 13-2 run. Paul George and George Hill each scored twice over that sequence and Ellis buried a 3-pointer that capped the spurt and put Indiana ahead 90-88 with 4:12 remaining.
But the Pacers offense went cold from there, as the Blue & Gold failed to score for nearly the next 3:28. The Cavaliers retook the lead on Tristan Thompson’s jumper with 3:17 remaining and stretched their advantage to as many as five.
Ellis knocked down two free throws with 44.3 seconds left to snap the Pacers’ scoreless streak and pull Indiana back within one possession. But Indiana couldn’t get the stop it needed, as LeBron James found a cutting Kevin Love for a backdoor layup with 27.3 seconds left.
George buried a triple on the other end to help the Pacers climb within two. The visitors then very nearly forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds, but Cleveland broke the press just before picking up an eight-second violation and James connected with Love once again for an uncontested dunk that effectively sealed the victory.
George was once again spectacular in the loss, recording his third straight double-double and fourth in seven games this season. The two-time All-Star finished with 32 points on 11-of-21 shooting, 11 rebounds, and six assists.
Ellis topped 20 points for the first time as a member of the Pacers, finishing with 25, while going 10-for-17 from the field. Hill was the only other Pacers player to reach double figures, amassing 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
James led Cleveland with 29 points, six boards, and four assists. Love added 22 points and 19 rebounds, while Thompson chipped in 16 points and eight boards off the bench.
The Pacers will have barely more than 24 hours to rest before they take the floor once again on Monday night, when they host the Orlando Magic at 7:00 PM at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Inside the Numbers
Despite Love’s 19 rebounds, the Pacers were essentially even with the Cavs on the boards. Cleveland outrebounded them just 48-47 overall and 12-11 on the offensive glass. Jordan Hill, getting the start at power forward, had 11 rebounds (seven offensive) for Indiana.
The Pacers had a season-low seven turnovers in the loss, four of them by George. In fact, neither team committed many mistakes, as the Cavaliers only had 10 giveaways.
Cleveland’s bench outscored Indiana’s reserves, 26-13. Thompson alone had 16 points, while Myles Turner (six points), Chase Budinger (five), and Glenn Robinson III (two) were the only members of the Pacers’ second unit to contribute a point.
Stat of the Game
After scoring 36 points in Friday’s win over Miami, George had 32 on Sunday, just the second time in his career he has topped 30 points in consecutive games. George also accomplished the feat on Feb. 19-22, 2014, when he scored 35 points at Minnesota and then 32 at Milwaukee.
- The Pacers have now lost their last four games at Cleveland. Their last win at Quicken Loans Arena came on Jan. 5, 2014.
- Two key members of the Pacers’ wing rotation watched Sunday’s game in street clothes. Starting small forward C.J. Miles missed his third straight game with a sore right ankle and sixth man Rodney Stuckey sat out Sunday’s contest after spraining his right ankle in Friday’s win over Miami.
- After going 3-for-6 from 3-point range on Sunday, George has now made 506 3-point field goals in his career, tying him with Billy Keller for third-most in franchise history.
- Love’s double-double was his fifth in seven games this season. Love has led the NBA in double-doubles twice in his career (2011-12 and 2013-14).
Via @NBA Pacers