Latest posts by Colton Jones (see all)
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Five quick takes on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ embarrassing 121-87 loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of their first-round series Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse…
1. The Cavaliers came into this one looking for the knockout, hoping to end this series in six games. However, it was the Pacers, who were the aggressors, running down loose balls, forcing turnovers and speeding downcourt for transition buckets. Indiana outrebounded Cleveland, 44-33, and had more points in the paint, 58-32, along with fastbreak points, 35-12.. The Pacers forced the Cavaliers into 15 turnovers, converting them into a staggering 29 points.
2. Victor Oladipo, who torched the Cavaliers for 32 points in Game 1, returned to that form in this one, posting his first playoff triple-double. The former Indiana University star came roaring out of the blocks, putting up 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals… in the first quarter. He finished with 28 points, 13 boards, 10 dimes and four steals in 31 minutes. Oladipo made 11 of 19 shots from the field, including shooting 6-of-8 from the 3-point line. Oladipo was 12 of 50 from the field in Games 3, 4 and 5, combined.
3. LeBron James showed he is human, receiving a cut above his left eye after running into a Thaddeus Young elbow with 2:13 to play in the first half on a drive along the right baseline that left blood streaming down the left side of his face. He said after the game he received stitches to close the wound. James finished with 22 points, on 7-of-16 shooting, five rebounds, seven assists, one steal and two blocked shots in 31 minutes. Not playing in the fourth quarter, he finished with a plus-minus rating of minus-24. The 34-point loss is the third-worst playoff defeat in terms of margin in James’ career.
4. Cleveland reverted to form with a horrific third quarter, in which is was outscored, 35-20. However, unlike past games in this series, the Cavaliers were already down 10 points at halftime, 57-47, meaning all the third quarter did was cement the outcome and render the fourth quarter to 12 minutes of garbage time as the Pacers led, 92-67, after three. The Pacers shot 50 percent or better in all four quarters.
5. With the Cavaliers’ NBA-record 13 consecutive wins in closeout games, and with James’ personal streak of 11 having been flushed, Cleveland faces its first Game 7 since the epic victory against Golden State in 2016. Unlike that game, this one will be in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ABC). Meanwhile, the Cavs’ second-round opponent, should they survive Game 7, the No. 1-seeded Toronto Raptors, will be home resting and waiting. Toronto eliminated Washington, 102-92, on Friday night.