Cavs drop 4th straight, Pacers roll to 124-107 win
CLEVELAND (AP) — Thaddeus Young scored 26 points, Darren Collison had 25 and the Indiana Pacers sent the Cleveland Cavaliers to their fourth straight loss, 124-107 on Wednesday night.
LeBron James had 33 points and 11 assists, but it wasn’t enough to keep Cleveland from losing for the fifth time in six games and falling to 3-5.
The Cavaliers held a lengthy meeting before Tuesday’s practice to discuss their struggles, but the defending Eastern Conference champions have lost by a combined margin of 58 points in their losing streak.
James was upbeat about the meeting, but the Cavaliers still have issues to work out, especially on the defensive end. Cleveland led 69-68 in the third quarter, but Indiana hit four straight 3-pointers and built an eight-point lead.
Indiana was 16 of 26 from 3-point range. Cleveland had allowed the second most 3-pointers in the league going into the game.
Victor Oladipo scored 23 points for the Pacers. Bojan Bogdanovic added 17, and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Pacers built the lead to double figures early in the fourth quarter, but James pulled the Cavaliers closer with a dunk and a three-point play to make it 97-94.
Indiana scored on its next four possessions, including Oladipo’s 3-pointer. Collison hit a 3-pointer giving the Pacers a 109-101 lead. Indiana pulled away in the final minutes.
Indiana showed little effect from playing the second end of a back-to-back. The Pacers rolled past Sacramento 101-83 on Tuesday and led for most of the first half.
Lance Stephenson was assessed a flagrant one in the second quarter for hitting James in the groin area as the four-time MVP drove to the basket.
James spent several seconds on the baseline hunched over in pain before walking to the bench while the officials looked at the replay. James made both free throws, sparking an 11-0 run.
Derrick Rose had 19 points while Kevin Love had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson left the game in the second quarter with a strained left calf and didn’t return.
Pacers: Bogdanovic took a knee to the head from Dwyane Wade, who was leaping trying to block his shot in the fourth quarter, but stayed in the game. … C Myles Turner worked out before the game, but remains in the concussion protocol.
Cavaliers: Thompson had eight rebounds and two points in 14 minutes. He had one point, no rebounds and four fouls in 19 minutes Sunday. … G Iman Shumpert (sore right knee) has missed the last two games.
Pacers: Visit Philadelphia on Friday night. Indiana has won 12 of the last 14 in the series.
Cavaliers: Visit Washington on Friday night. Cleveland has lost two straight road games.