No LeBron, No Problem?
Every quarter is a different chapter. The Cavs took full control on the 1st three but still turned out as a tragic 2nd consecutive defeat for them in the 4th. Cavs is ultimately a different team without their main men.
Pacers looking to take advantage of the Cavs missing a link, running their early offense smoothly as Victor Oladipo makes 2 consecutive baskets out of a Myles Turner and a Thaddeus Young assist.
Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade bagged the first field goal for the Cavs with an electrifying jam, followed by a three-pointer by Jae Crowder. Joining the early sizzle was Kevin Love that delivered a hook shot. The opening 4-0 run of the Pacers suddenly fell into a skid by the Cavs monstrous 10 to nothing early ignition.
Pacers only managed to counter via a single free throw by Young but the Cavs are far from done, starting another humongous 9-0 run to completely dominate the opening bout.
First Quarter ended 33-21 in favor of Cleveland.
Managing to bring the gap up to 6 points was the closest the Pacers can do. Derrick Rose and Kevin Love were just relentless offensively. Cavs still in control at the half, 57-48
Turning point 3rd bout, Pacers are slowly catching up got as close as 72-75 at the 2:55 mark. Coming off the time-out, Cavs regained control lead by Richard Jefferson’s aggression to penetrate, getting 2 lay-ups and one bonus free throw. Cavs backup at 86-78.
Indiana would never run out of steam knowing that their foe isn’t in full form. Unleashing a 12 to nothing run to take a 5 point advantage 104-99 as the game is approaching the last 2-minute warning. John Holland and Ante Zizic could’ve drawn the game as close as 104 103 but they missed 1 out of 2 of their free throws as well as Jefferson, completely swallowed by the pressure missed his 2nd free throw. Tj Leaf secures the board and scores with a layup on the other end to stun the furious Cavs 106-102 final.
Pacers 106 – Oladipo 14, Turner 12, Young 9, Collison 4, Bogdanovic 3, bench – 64
Cavs 102 – Crowder 19, Wade 18, Rose 15, Love 9, Smith 5 Bench – 36
(video courtesy of Rapid Highlights)