NBA In Game Preview: Pacers at Cavaliers Game 5
Pacers at Cavaliers Game 5
Every time it looks like the Cleveland Cavaliers are about to roll over and end their reign atop the Eastern Conference, they bounce right back with a win. The Cavaliers will try to take the lead for the first time in the best-of-seven, first-round series when they host the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 on Wednesday.
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Cleveland had a chance to take the series lead in Game 3 and could not hold onto a 17-point advantage in a 92-90 loss, but LeBron James took over down the stretch in Game 4 and guided his team to a 104-100 triumph and tie the series at two games apiece. “We came on the road in a hostile environment and got a big win after a letdown last game,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue told reporters after the victory. “I thought we played good enough to win that last game. The guys thought that as well. When you lose a tough game like that it’s hard to bounce back, especially on the road. It’s just tribute to our guys’ character, who they are, and we bounced back and won a tough game.” The Pacers are showing plenty of fight in the series and are undaunted by Cleveland taking back homecourt advantage. “It’s 0-0 and it’s anybody’s series right now,” center Myles Turner told reporters. “And we’ve gotta be the hungry team. We’ve got a road win before, and we gotta go do it again.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Indiana, FS Ohio (Cleveland)
ABOUT THE PACERS: Indiana placed seven scorers in double figures in the Game 4 loss but All-Star Victor Oladipo struggled to 5-of-20 from the floor and Game 3 hero Bojan Bogdanovic went 4-of-13. “I thought we were frantic offensively throughout the game and I just didn’t think we played the game the right way,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan told reporters. “I thought there were some quick shots, some heroic shots that were taken throughout this game, and you’re not going to win if you play the game like that.” The positives came up front, where Turner and reserve center Domantas Sabonis combined for 36 points on 16-of-21 shooting.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: James finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in Game 4 but took the time out to praise the efforts of his teammates. Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood, who all joined the team at the trade deadline, combined for 24 points off the bench. “It means a lot to Rodney, Jordan and Larry,” James told reporters. “It’s their first opportunity in the postseason. It was a must-win for us in a hostile environment. For them to play the way they did meant a lot.”
1. Cavaliers PG George Hill (back) is questionable for Game 5.
2. Pacers PF Thaddeus Young grabbed 16 rebounds on Sunday in his first double-double of the series.
3. Cleveland SG Kyle Korver scored 18 points in Game 4 after going scoreless over 20 minutes in Game 3.