Without both their starting point guard and backup point guard in the lineup - and were both given the night off to rest - Cleveland built a 22-point lead, had its best defensive quarter of the season by holding in to 12 points in the opening frame and kept the Pacers to 97 points overall (far better than the 127, 127 and 133 the, and hung on them the previous three games).
"It was really hard (focusing with so much head pain)", he said of the demands of his job.
James finished with 26 points, 5 rebounds and an uncharacteristic one lone assist, which is clearly a sign of how out-of-sync the team was throughout the night. That's usually a combination that equates to postseason success.In terms of point differential, the Cavs are 11th while Toronto ranks second, trailing the Golden State Warriors.Despite the Cavs' awful stretch, ranking as the league's worst defense in the three games since Isaiah Thomas - who was supposed to lift the team to new heights - in the starting lineup, the Cavs don't seem too concerned. Jeff Green added 13 points, Jae Crowder 11 and Kevin Love contributed 10 points and nine rebounds. Only two other teammates managed to join him in double figures, as Tyreke Evans and James Ennis each tallied 12. King James himself-as well as coach Tyronn Lue-says they need to get their act together.
What Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan thinks of his team as it sits around.500 halfway through the season. "In the third quarter, we didn't exert as much as we did in the first half and we let them get back into the game". "That's the season. Just like we kept in mind what happened to us in the playoffs". "It's not for everybody. Family is not always about a bed of roses".
The Knicks took their 10th loss in 13 games. Once again we're back to the beginning of the season, and we've just got to find a way to get out of it.
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan said the attitude of the team is evolving. "I don't (have an agenda)".
"My bags have been half-packed since I got here". "I've known since high school, it's not the guy who tells the joke that gets caught, it's the guy who laughs". He wants to win, but he also wants to win on his terms - being seen as the leader and racking up stats that earn praise (like MVP).
"It's my 10th year", Love said. "It's not you're guarding [Victor] Oladipo or I'm guarding Oladipo, we're all guarding Oladipo". "I don't know if it was fatigue, but we took ourselves out of it". It was actually his worst game in Toronto's current 6-1 stretch; on Monday he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week after he scored a franchise-record 52 points and handed out eight assists in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, then put up 35 points, six assists and three steals in a win over the Chicago Bulls.