Photo courtesy of pacers.com
The Indiana Pacers shot 5-23 in the fourth quarter and never surrendered the lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won 13 straight games before Friday night.
It was the Victor Oladipo show in the second half, like most Pacers games are inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season. Oladipo scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter. He commonly used the pick-and-roll with Domantas Sabonis to get open jump shots or he simply bested Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith in an isolation offensive attack.
Oladipo didn’t make a field goal in the fourth quarter…that is until the 1:01 mark in the fourth.
Oladipo started at mid-court, used a Thaddeus Young screen that forced Cavaliers forward Kevin Love to guard Oladipo around the right wing. Oladipo used a step-back crossover to free himself from Love, planted his feet and converted a three-point attempt to increase the Pacers lead to 103-97.
Oladipo secured eight rebounds to go with his game-high 33 points. Myles Turner, the NBA’s leading shot-blocker, scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds to go with three blocks. Bojan Bogdanovic and Young were the other two starters to score in double figures with 10 and 13 respectively. Cory Joseph came off the bench to score 12 points.
LeBron James led his team with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Love added 20 points for the Cavaliers.
The Pacers now sit at 15-11 and have been perfect in the first half of their current six-game homestand. The Denver Nuggets will travel to Indiana to play the Pacers, which features a homecoming of sorts for Indiana products Gary Harris (Hamilton Southeastern High School) and Trey Lyles (Arsenal Technical High School)