Photo credit: Frank McGrath, Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers had one of their better first-quarter performances this season against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 8.
CJ Miles hit his first three attempts from three-point land before checking out with early foul trouble. Lavoy Allen was productive with six points and five rebounds. Paul George was also a perfect 4-4 from the field before checking out of the first quarter. The Pacers went on a tear outscoring the NBA defending champs 36-25.
The Cavaliers tried to dictate the pace more in the second quarter but the Pacers weathered the storm and maintained a great field goal percentage closing out the first half 63-57, shooting 55%.
This is where you break out that bottle of vanishing cream.
After Red Panda wowed the 17,580 spectators in attendance during the halftime show, the Pacers simply disappeared shortly thereafter.
The third quarter started off rough as the Cavaliers scored the first points of the second half on an alley-oop. Deandre Liggins stole the ensuing inbound pass to score two more points giving the Cavs four points in 15 seconds.
LeBron James was the most aggressive player on the court during the third quarter, much to what he has done during his 14-year career.
He facilitated, he scored, he sold a few no-foul calls. He did enough to help the Cavs outscore the Pacers 40-18 in the third quarter.
The Pacers simply could not match the intensity of their counterparts as the Cavs exploited poor help-side defense, blown defensive assignments and poor rebounding from the blue and gold.
The Pacers gave it one last shot in the fourth as they reduced a large Cavalier lead to eight points, but Kyle Korver erased any chance of a comeback with his 8-for-9 three point performance.
Korver matched his starting point guard Kyrie Irving with 29 points while James finished with 25 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
Miles led all Pacers with 23 points while George and point guard Jeff Teague finished with 22 points. Teague also chipped in 14 assists and five rebounds.
The Pacers’ (29-23) winning streak was stopped at seven and will be tested throughout the next seven days with the games that are coming up. Next, is a scorching-hot Washington Wizards team in the nation’s capital on Feb. 10.