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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Game 71: Pacers at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

1. The Cavaliers kept their impressive winning streak alive at The Q intact. They've now won 15 in a row at home, dating back to the Houston game on Jan. 7. They are becoming invincible at home. The Wine & Gold have averaged 107.1 points per game in that streak. They are shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from the 3-point line.
They are holding opponents to 91.7 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting.

2. The Pacers are a tough matchup for the Cavs, as evidenced by the season series being tied, 2-2. They play playoff-style basketball. That's why the Cavs might not want to match up with them in the first round. They'd probably win, but they might not have much left for the second round.

3. Cavs guard Kyrie Irving had an off night with 13 points. Coach David Blatt said Irving is human, after all, and is capable of having an off night from time to time. He had two points, no rebounds and no assists in the second half.

4. It was thought that All-Star swingman Paul George would be back by now, but that looks like it was wishful thinking. He broke his leg last summer and had been making steady progress. He's returned to the practice court, but he's not yet 100 percent. There's a chance he could return next week.

5. Guard Rodney Stuckey, formerly of the Pistons, has become the Pacers' super sub. He has scored in double figures in 12 of his last 13 games coming into tonight. He had back-to-back 30-point games against Philadelphia on Feb. 20 and Golden State on Feb. 22. Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert, their resident defensive stopper, stopped him in his tracks. Stuckey made 2 of 11 shots from the field for six points. Shump is making his impact on this team.

6. The Pacers are one of the top defensive teams in the league. They are third in points allowed, third in opponents' field-goal percentage and eighth in opponents' 3-point shooting. Indiana held seven consecutive opponents under 40 percent shooting from Feb. 27 to March 12 - an NBA record. Now you know why points were so hard to come by on this night. The Cavs shot just 42.7 percent from the field.

7. Cavs guard J.R. Smith is shooting 49 percent from the 3-point arc (21 of 43) in his last six games. His backcourt mate, Kyrie Irving, is shooting 63 percent from deep in that span (17 of 27). Now, you see what kind of problems opposing teams are facing when they play the Cavs.

8. Guard Matthew Dellavedova was huge tonight. He made three big 3-pointers before asking to come out of the game. That doesn't happen much. He said afterward he was hit in a very sensitive area. "I got hit in the ##8$%*@," he said. "Thanks for asking."

UP NEXT: at Milwaukee, BMO Harris Bradley Center, 3 p.m. Sunday.

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Solomon Hill (6-7, 225)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. David West (6-9, 250)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Roy Hibbert (7-2, 275)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 220) vs. C.J. Miles (6-6, 225)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. George Hill (6-3, 192)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, G Joe Harris
Pacers - G/F Paul George, F/C Shayne Whittington
Marc Davis, JT Orr, Gary Zielinski


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