Cavs seek first win of season over Pacers


The Indiana Pacers fought back from a 22-point first half deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-95.

Centre Jonas Valanciunas was dominant in the paint, earning a double-double with 15 points and 18 rebounds as Toronto spread the floor. They've won three games when trailing by at least 16 points, and have made several other great comebacks that fell just short.

Lowry was out with a bruised tailbone.

LeBron James' comments at the shootaround Thursday morning about the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers ended up being prescient when it came to the beatdown in store for his team from the Toronto Raptors later that night.

Ibaka sat as he served a one-game suspension after throwing punches with Miami's James Johnson on Tuesday. "James recorded a game-high 26 points, but had just one assist to two turnovers and finished a game-worst minus-22 in 32 minutes of action". But the Cavaliers could not keep up with the play of Toronto's bench. The pair were a combined 2-of-20 shooting with Smith being held scoreless. It's the Pacers' third win this season over the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs. "That's not how the game is played, and you don't cheat the game. We were playing good ball". Toronto ranks second in the National Basketball Association for games with at least 125 points, trailing only Golden State (13).

"We've got to be better", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "So we got to be better".

Sometimes, the Raptors have shown that they can get off to strong starts against a team like Cleveland but there have been times where they let the foot off the gas and the game gets away from them. The Cavs appeared to weather the storm by going on a 14-5 run of their own, but then watched the Pacers again run off 11 straight points as part of a 16-2 run to close out the quarter. Cleveland's Dwyane Wade answered with a dunk before time expired on the period. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 112 points on 47.2 percent shooting and allowing 103.7 points on 44.9 percent shooting.

Cleveland's schedule isn't going to be any easier.

A player like DeAndre Jordan can help solve their defensive woes with his interior defense and presence on the boards, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Cavaliers are still reluctant to include the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick in trade talks with the Los Angeles Clippers regarding the center.

IN outscored Cleveland 32-16 in the third quarter to erase a 14-point halftime deficit and take a 76-74 lead after three quarters. They are the only team in the league to rank in the top five in both 3-point attempts per game (3rd, 33.0) and 3-point percentage (4th, 37.9%).