NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 5th
(All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (26-6) at Cleveland (11-22), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers lead the Cleveland Cavaliers by 15
1/2 games in the Central Division, but it won't stop the two from squaring off
Sunday evening at the Q.
The Pacers atoned for a road loss to the Toronto Raptors earlier this week
with a 99-82 home drubbing of the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
Paul George amassed 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Pacers overcame a slow
start to cruise to victory. New Orleans performed just fine without leading
scorer Ryan Anderson's services early on, with Eric Gordon netting six points
during a 12-0 first-quarter run that staked the Pelicans to a 27-13 lead 10
minutes into the contest. The Pacers trailed 38-25 nearing the midway mark of
the second quarter, but bounced back strongly to dominate the rest of the way.
Lance Stephenson scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting to help the Pacers
improve to 16-1 at home this season. Danny Granger had his most productive
game since returning from a calf injury in the triumph, dropping in 13 points
in nearly 21 minutes off the bench.
"We did a good job on defense, running on the break and playing together,"
George Hill had 10 in the victory for the Pacers, a team that plays two of
their next three on the road, but five of their next seven in Indianapolis.
The Cavs lost their fifth straight road game on Saturday night, an 89-82
setback in Brooklyn.
Without star Kyrie Irving, who is expected to miss Sunday's contest with a
bruised left knee, Dion Waiters had 26 points in a reserve role for the
Cavaliers, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Tristan Thompson's layup had the Cavs within 69-67 early in the fourth
quarter, but the Nets scored the ensuing seven points.
"There were a couple times in the second half that we moved the ball the right
way," said Cavs coach Mike Brown. "You give Brooklyn credit; they won the game
and did a great job."
C.J. Miles scored 19 for Cleveland and Matthew Dellavedova finished with 13
for the second unit. Anderson Varejao grabbed 12 rebounds in a losing effort.
Cleveland has Philly at home on Tuesday, then hits the west coast for five
games. That could be a problem considering the Cavaliers are 2-15 as the
visitor this season.
The Pacers have won eight straight against the Cavs, including both of this
season's matchups, which were both in Indianapolis. The Pacers are 6-1 in
their last seven in Cleveland.
01/05 10:28:04 ET