5QT: Cavaliers staggered and bloodied; Game 7 on tap Sunday

LeBron James of the Cavaliers is horse-collared by Bojan Bogdanovic of the Pacers on Cleveland's first possession of Game 6 on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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.

7 Comments on "5QT: Cavaliers staggered and bloodied; Game 7 on tap Sunday"

  1. Very tough loss for the Cavs, but not a surprise. The Pacers are a very good, very physical team. See you at GAME 7, Indiana. It’s not over yet.

  2. This game was hard to watch. Lue took a nap at halftime. The team came out and basically got knocked out. Lue took a timeout and made no changes to the lineup. Meanwhile, JR was getting rocked by Victor and Lue made no adjustment. The pace seemed to be too slow for the young guys and too fast for the old ones Hope Lue figures this out.

    • Hi, Flat… gosh, you’re correct — my eyes are almost bleeding after watching that! lol It was the Pacers’ last stand, and they played with the urgency and aggressiveness good teams to, especially playing on their home floor.

  3. Cavs need a lineup change in game 7. The lack of energy and toughness is a real problem against this physical Pacers team. Why not inject some Cedi into the starting lineup? Cedi could really help defend Oladipo, and boost some energy into that starting lineup. We cannot afford to come out flat again in the first quarter, especially defensively. I love Jose, but you can’t start two 37 year old guards and expect to chase down Oladipo for 4 quarters. Cedi should replace Jose in the starting lineup, at least until Hill is healthy.

    • Newsflash Ben, Hills health will be irrelevant by tomorrow. If by some Miracle, they DO win tomorrow, with Lue coaching it’s merely a short time until the continually disappearing Cavs return to CAVE to the Raptors…. Hate to see it, but they are a LONG way from looking like they can compete. NO SHOOTING, just heaving up the ball WITH NO EXPECTATION OF IT GOING IN EXCEPT BY LUCK. See it over & over. AND, When Clarkson is not double teamed or triple teamed going into a crowd continually, he CAN shoot & make a shot one on one. BUT when they see him get the ball, almost 100% he’s going to bang it in there,,,,, PACERS KNOW THAT and they respond. He gets mauled.
      NO COACHING ! NO COACHING ! NO COACHING ! IT HAS BEEN THAT WAY ALL SEASON–We DID have some when DREW coached, but that’s seems so long ago for some reason….?
      WHAT EXACTLY DOES IT MEAN AND WHAT EXACTLY IS THE TRANSLATION WHEN LUE SAYS, “WE JUST NEED TO BE MORE AGRESSIVE “? Apparently the “team” thinks it means just chuck up a shot, & maybe one of our guys will rebound it, and maybe make some points. Trouble IS, NO ONE ON THIS TEAM, except Lebron, is there to get any rebounds. They’re always in RAPID RETREAT MODE to try to defend the fast break the ‘PACERS’ are exploding on them. ALL HAS TURNED RIDICULOUS IN THE NON-COACHING OF THIS TEAM. Everyone appears too fearful to shoot correctly, and then just throws it up for grabs on the rebound, but no ones there for that either ! ???????????????????????????

      • Whenever someone says its JUST this or that it means they dont know what the problem is. Its never just one thing. Lue’s coaching career is on the line so let’s see if he will do some coaching tomorrow.

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