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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Game 31: Cavs at Pacers

Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED?: The struggling Cavs dropped their sixth consecutive game to end the 2013 portion of their schedule.

They dropped to 2-14 on the road, worst in the NBA. Why they are so bad on the road, I can't figure. 

They played with fire on Tuesday and were in the game until the Pacers' defense stiffened in the fourth quarter. They were outscored in the fourth quarter, 26-10. The Cavs made just 3 of 16 shots in the final quarter.

That's what the Pacers can do: Play physical defense. Cavs coach Mike Brown said the Pacers like to grab, push and shove - and not get called for it. He should know. He was on their staff several years ago.

The Cavs have now lost eight in a row to the Pacers. They'll get a chance to snap that streak on Jan. 5 at The Q.

The Cavs' last road win against the Pacers came on Jan. 29, 2010.

The Cavs played without center Andrew Bynum, who has been excused from all team activities. He's being paid to stay at home. It's a nice gig if you can get it.

The Cavs are trying to deal the big man. Good luck with that one.

The Pacers concentrated their defensive game plan on stopping Kyrie Irving, who was averaging 33.7 points in his previous three games. He had just 10 points, five assists and five rebounds. He bumped knees with an Indiana player and spent some time in the locker room with a bruised knee.

He will have an MRI on his knee on New Year's Day when the team gets back to Cleveland. That would be about the worst thing to happen if he went down. He's one of the few reasons to watch this team right now.

He made just 3 of 9 shots on Tuesday. The Cavs had just three players in double figures, led by Anderson Varejao's 14 points and 11 rebounds.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Orlando at 7 p.m. Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Earl Clark (6-10, 225) vs. Paul George (6-9, 228)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. David West (6-9, 250)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Roy Hibbert (7-2, 290)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 231) vs. Lance Stephenson (6-5, 230)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. George Hill (6-2, 188)
Cavs - G/F Carrick Felix, C Andrew Bynum
Pacers - F Solomon Hill
Zach Zarba, Mark Lindsay, Eli Roe


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