Pacers-Cavaliers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 20, 2012
The Indiana Pacers turned in their best shooting performance of the season in their last game. A similar effort could be on tap Friday night when they visit a Cleveland Cavaliers team that has lost five straight and struggled on defense all season. Indiana (14-12) shot a season-high 51.3 percent Wednesday to cruise to a 104-84 home victory over Utah. The Pacers hadn't topped 50 percent this season. Gerald Green scored a season-best 21 points and George Hill and Paul George each added 20. George also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. "I think we trusted passing more than we have all season and that's what coach (Frank Vogel) has been preaching all year long," Hill said. "If we can believe in each other, trust in each other, try to create a shot for each other rather than for yourself all the time, we can have great offensive nights like we did tonight." Finding the range against Cleveland (5-22) should not be difficult. The Cavaliers are last in the NBA in field-goal defense, allowing teams to shoot 47.6 percent. Cleveland also could be without Anderson Varejao, who is averaging a league-best 14.4 rebounds. Varejao sat out Wednesday's 103-91 loss at Boston with a bruised right knee. The Cavs allowed the Celtics to shoot 59.7 percent one night after letting lowly Toronto make 52.0 percent of its attempts in a 113-99 defeat. "We can't go into games just thinking we're going to outscore people," coach Byron Scott said. "We don't have the personnel to do that with right now." One of Cleveland's best defensive efforts came in a 96-81 loss at Indiana on Dec. 12. The Pacers shot 41.0 percent but prevailed thanks to a stellar second half in which they limited the Cavs to 23 points. Cleveland star Kyrie Irving was held to nine points on 4-for-12 shooting in that game - his second after missing 11 straight with a broken finger. The Pacers made a key defensive adjustment in forcing the ball out of Irving's hands in the second half. "Once Indiana became more aggressive and tried to take the ball out of Kyrie's hands, we caved into it and we just stopped playing," Scott said after that game. Cleveland could be better poised to handle such a strategy since Dion Waiters is back. Waiters missed that contest with a sprained left ankle and has scored 21 points in two games since returning. The rookie is second on the team with 14.7 points per game. Cleveland has dropped 16 straight to Central Division opponents since a 101-100 win over Detroit on Feb. 21. The Cavs have lost nine of 10 to the Pacers. George enters this contest with two straight double-doubles after going 21 games in a row without one. He scored a team-high 27 earlier this month against Cleveland. C.J. Miles led the Cavs with 28 points in the first meeting with Indiana, but he's totaled just 16 in two games since going back to the bench with Waiters rejoining the lineup.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker