Indiana Pacers win their third straight game, pulling away from the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Indiana Pacers could have had plenty of excuses had they not won this game. They were playing the second game of a back-to-back against a team that had been off for two days. The Pacers still without arguably their best player. Indiana was also playing against the best player on Earth and his Cleveland Cavaliers, the defending Eastern Conference Champions.
None of these excuses were needed.
Indiana played its best game of the young season, pulling away from Cleveland with a 13-2 run to end the game. The Pacers held the lead most of the night and answered each of the Cavs’ runs with precise ball movement and quality shot selection. LeBron James did everything he could to keep the Cavs in the game, but Indiana proved to be too much.
The Good: The Pacers’ ball movement and pace have been hallmarks of their nice start to the season. This game was no exception. Indiana finished with 35 assists on 49 field goals and outscored Cleveland 16-6 in fast break points.
The Bad: The Cavs’ pick and roll defense. The Pacers ran middle pick-and-roll with Domas Sabonis and got whatever they wanted.
MVP: Thad Young. 26 points on 12-of-18 shooting including a couple from downtown, with four steals while playing both the 4 and 5 spots. He was awesome.
LVP: Dwyane Wade. If he’s not washed, he’s in the clothes hamper on the way to the laundry room. He was pretty bad.
X-Factor: Darren Collison. Picked his spots nicely, kept everyone involved, and knocked down big shots. Can’t ask for much more.
VICTOR OLADIPOSG, Indiana Pacers
THADDEUS YOUNGPF, Indiana Pacers
BOJAN BOGDANOVICSF, Indiana Pacers