The 5 Best Pacers Games of the Year

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Feb 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) watches as the Indiana Pacers shoot free throws at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Cleveland 103-99. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

Rolling With the Pacers

Indiana 103, Cleveland 99 – February 6, 2015

Lebron James returned to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time as a Cleveland Cavalier on this night in early February.

The Cavs were riding a 12-game winning streak that had turned around their season. They now sat at 31-20 after starting the year 19-20, and had just dominated the Clippers the night before.

After that game, Lebron sported his tight-fit t-shirt splattered with the letters ‘RWTW’ on the front. ‘RWTW’ = Roll With The Winners.

The Pacers got the message and decided it would be their night to make a statement. They pulled out a 4-point win to end the Cavaliers streak and jumpstart what would be the best stretch of their year. It was their second straight victory and became part of a run in which Indiana would win 11 of 13 games.

All five Pacers starters were in double figures that night as they put a halt to what would have been a franchise-tying record 13th-straight win for Cleveland. David West posted 20 points and 13 boards on 9-of-15 shooting, but it was the play of George Hill that made headlines.

Forget his 3-8 shooting, forget the 4 turnovers, and ignore the fact that he posted the lowest +/- differential of anyone on the team that night (-5).

Hill was the star.

With just over a minute and a half to play, the Pacers trailed Cleveland by just a point. Then in steps the hometown hero.

Hibbert came to set a screen on Kyrie Irving, but Cleveland’s All-Star point guard tried to push through it to prevent an uncontested three. The Duke grad ended up doing the worst thing you can when leading by less than four – he fouled a jumpshooter. To top it off, Hill sank the off-balanced 3-pointer with just one hand as he fell away from the basket.

Hill took 15 free throws that night and made 12, but the shot he took from the charity stripe on that four-point play was his biggest.

Indiana ended up grinding out a four-point win, 103-99. The result moved the Pacers to 19-32 overall, but was more about knocking off a rival in a late-game situation than it was improving their record.

“Roll With The Winners,” the shirt said. That night, the Indiana Pacers were the ones rolling, and Kyrie Irving remained winless in Indiana.

Next: Game #3