Playing the final contest of a four-game homestand, the Pacers headed to halftime on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse trailing the Cleveland Cavaliers, 58-44.
The Cavaliers entered Friday’s contest seemingly in disarray. They had dropped six of their last eight games, including a 28-point defeat on Monday in Minnesota and a 34-point drubbing on Thursday in Toronto.
But Cleveland apparently rediscovered its form overnight, as the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions dominated the first quarter on Friday. After Victor Oladipo’s jumper gave Indiana an early 6-4 lead, the Cavaliers reeled off 22 unanswered points.
The Pacers’ offense was anemic for much of that stretch, going scoreless for a 6:58 stretch. The Blue & Gold scored a season-low 12 points in the opening frame — going just 6-for-22 from the field and committing six turnovers — and faced a 22-point deficit heading into the second quarter.
Indiana got a nice offensive boost from its bench to start the next frame, particularly veteran big man Al Jefferson. The 33-year-old put on a low post clinic in the opening minutes of the second quarter, connecting on four consecutive shots to give the hosts some much-needed offensive rhythm.
The Pacers also mounted a strong close to the half, outscoring Cleveland 15-7 over the final 5:30 to make it a 14-point game heading into the break.
Victor Oladipo and Thaddeus Young led the Pacers with 10 points apiece in the half, while Jefferson chipped in eight in just six minutes, but also accumulated three fouls.
Four-time MVP LeBron James led all scorers with 14 points and also racked up four rebounds, eight assists, and three steals. Jeff Green added 13 points off the bench for Cleveland.
After a five-game road trip, the Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.
Pacers Team Store Game Night Special
Hat and T-Shirt Combo – $25. The Game Night Special can be purchased at the Pacers Team Store on game day, as well as online from 10:00 AM-Midnight. Order Online »