Pacers Fall to Cavaliers
Al Jefferson and the Indiana Pacers again fell victim to a big second half run.
After being outscored 40-18 in the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, the Pacers couldn’t stop the Cavs in the fourth quarter of a 113-104 defeat.
Big Al dished on a Glen Robinson III 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter, but Cleveland responded with a 23-6 run to take a 106-89 lead with 6:05 to play.
“There was too much Lebron and Kyrie,” said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. “Those guys do a good job of reading the defense, their ability to score, and when you collapse on them they bury you from the three-point line. They knocked down some big threes. They hit 18 of them. It seemed like anytime we got ourselves back in the game or got close, they were able to hit threes.”
The game began much as the previous meeting between the two Eastern Conference rivals, with the Pacers getting out to a quick start, running off eight straight points to start the game and taking a 20-12 lead midway through the first.
The Cavs got back in the game with a 12-6 response, but the Pacers scored the last four points of the quarter, one on a Big Al assist to Monta Ellis, to end the first with a four point lead.
Cleveland led by as many as eight twice in the second quarter, but the Pacers responded each time. A jumper by Al inside the final two minutes cut the deficit to one, and Indiana went into the locker room down three.
The Cavs held the advantage for much of the third, going up by 12 on a jumper by James with 3:11 left in the quarter. Indiana ended the quarter on a 14-5 run that featured a Big Al bucket and assist to Ellis, and the Pacers entered the fourth again trailing by three before the Cavs went on their run.
Big Al was all over the box score, scoring six points and grabbing six rebounds to go with his four assists in 13 minutes. He finished plus-nine for the night.
The Pacers finished with 30 assists, their most as a team since October.
John Wall and the Washington Wizards come to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the second night of a back-to-back and the Pacers’ final game before the All-Star break. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. EST.