The Cleveland Cavaliers dropped their 17th straight game against a Central Division opponent, and their sixth in a row overall, as they fell 99-89 to the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena last night.
Once again, the Cavaliers were in the game throughout the first half, even leading at the intermission. It was the third quarter, and the play of Pacers' forward Paul George, that turned the tide for Indiana. George did not score in the first half, but got it going in the third to the tune of eight points and four steals in the period. He finished the game with 10 points, five rebounds, and five steals.
It was not just George though that turned a one point deficit into a 10 point lead for the Pacers. He was helped out by Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson, and David West. Hibbert scored a game-high 18 points, Stephenson had 16 points and seven assists, and West added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Indiana also got 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists and Gerald Green added 14 points off the bench.
For Cleveland, it was business as usual, as Kyrie Irving paced the team with 17 points and five assists. Again, though, there was a lack of that number two option offensively and Irving was not able to do it all. Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller each had 12 points and Thompson pulled down 13 rebounds. Dion Waiters and Alonzo Gee each had 11 points, but no one could really break out to help Irving.
Without Anderson Varejao, who is out due to a bruised knee, in the post, the Cavaliers were outrebounded 44-35. They also only managed 19 assists to Indiana's 24.
With this being the first of another back-to-back for Cleveland, they will hope to rebound in Milwaukee tonight. With Varejao still out, one of the young big men will have to step up in the paint and someone will have to give Irving help. Otherwise, it could be another tough loss, running the streak to seven in a row.
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