Game 23: Cavs at Pacers
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: After the Cavs' huge victory over the Lakers on Tuesday, the tendency would be to let down against the Pacers.
That's exactly what happened, especially in the second half when the Cavs were outscored, 44-23.
The 23 points were the fewest in a half in franchise history. The previous record was achieved twice: at Miami on Nov. 4, 1995; and at San Antonio on March 25, 1997.
The Cavs made 8 of 41 shots in the second half for 19.5 percent. That's hard to do, especially in the NBA.
Guard Kyrie Irving, coming off a magnificent 28-point performance against the Lakers, was held to nine points. He made just 4 of 12 shots, 0 of 3 from the 3-point line. The point total matched his season low.
Shooting guard C.J. Miles had a game-high 28 points. He was the only Cavs' starter - and one of only two Cavs' players - in double figures. He shot 8 of 18 from the field, 6 of 9 from behind the arc.
That comes one day after scoring 28 points against the Lakers. He's averaged 18.8 points in his last five games and reached double figures in all of them.
He is really becoming an offensive threat. His outside shooting is a welcomed sight. It's definitely needed.
The Cavs had a 16-point lead, 54-38, with 3:39 left in the second quarter. The Pacers whittled their deficit to 58-52 at halftime. Indiana clamped down on the defensive end in the third quarter when they outscored the Cavs, 28-12. The Cavs never recovered.
The Pacers might be the best defensive team in the league. They are at the top or near the top of almost every defensive category. The Cavs saw that first-hand on Wednesday.
Even though many picked the Pacers to win the Central Division this season, they have been quite ordinary for most of the season. They miss forward Danny Granger, who remains out of the lineup with left patellar tendinosis. He's about five weeks into an approximate 12-week recovery period.
Some think Paul George might potentially be the Pacers' best player. He looked pretty darn good against the Cavs with 27 points and seven rebounds.
Granger, though, is the Pacers' go-to player. They've missed him in a big way. When they need to make a shot late in the game, they used to turn to Granger.
Power forward David West never seems to get old. The former Xavier star is having a good season and is averaging 17.5 points and 8.6 rebounds. He's also shooting 50.5 percent from the field.
The Cavs have lost their last three games to the Pacers. They've dropped five in a row at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They haven't won in Indiana since Jan. 29, 2010.
LAST GAME: The Cavs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, 100-94.
UP NEXT: The Cavs host Milwaukee at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Paul George (6-8, 215)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs.David West (6-9, 240)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Roy Hibbert (7-2, 280)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 222) vs. Lance Stephenson (6-5, 228)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. George Hill (6-2, 190)
Cavs – G Dion Waiters, F Jon Leuer
Pacers - F Danny Granger, F Miles Plumlee
Zach Zarba, Eric Lewis, Ben Taylor