Pacers even series, force Game 7 by blowing out Cavs 121-87
INDIANAPOLIS — Victor Oladipo scored 28 points and posted the first postseason triple-double of his career Friday night, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 121-87 blowout over the Cleveland Cavaliers to even the series at three.
Game 7 will be played Sunday in Cleveland.
The three-time defending Eastern Conference champs again were led by LeBron James with 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter. Nobody else scored more than 13 points as the Cavaliers lost their first closeout game in 14 tries dating to 2009. James had won 11 consecutive closeout games and is 12-0 all-time in the first-round series.
With its season at stake, Indiana played hard, aggressive and tough.
And it showed with a record-breaking victory margin.
Kevin Love hurt his left wrist on a hard fall midway through the second quarter and wound up scoring just seven points while shooting 3 of 10 from the field.
James took a shot, too, cutting the side of his left eye when he ran into Thaddeus Young’s elbow on a drive late in the first half. No foul was called and James returned with a bandage protecting his face.
But with a relaxed Oladipo figuring out how to defeat the Cavs’ double teams, he rediscovered his shooting touch. Oladipo finished with 13 rebounds, 10 assists and was 11 of 19 from the field and 6 of 8 on 3s to keep the Pacers in charge most of the game.
After the Pacers erased a 22-17 deficit with a 12-2 run, the Cavs never led again.
Indiana’s 10-2 spurt midway through the second quarter made it 46-36. The Pacers opened the third by scoring the first five points to make it 62-47 and then they poured it on.
Myles Turner’s 3-pointer with 7:03 left in the third made it a 20-point game and the Pacers closed the quarter on a 10-1 run to extend the lead to 92-67.