Pacers Run Win Streak To 5 Straight In Victory Over Cavaliers
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INDIANAPOLIS – Once the injury scare proved to be just that, the home faithful at Bankers Life Fieldhouse could exhale and soak up their Pacers cruising to a 5th straight victory.
Myles Turner is okay and the Pacers have been better than ‘okay’ this week.
Another win with zero second half pressure came on Saturday night as the Pacers were in full control over an inferior Cleveland (11-45) team.
The 105-90 win pushed the Pacers record to 37-19, the first time this season they’ve been 18 games above .500.
“I think it’s a sign of growth when you come out and play the game the right way,” Nate McMillan said after his team rolled to another win. “You’re not playing a team’s record, you show respect to our opponent, and we came out and tried to take care of business right from the start. Defensively making them work and earn everything and offensively ball movement, making them defend us and taking control from start to finish.
“I think every game for us is showing growth. Playing against a team like Cleveland who hasn’t had success and coming off of two good wins, you kind of anticipate a letdown. Tonight was a game showing growth where we didn’t have that let down. Every game now is an opportunity for us to show growth.”
The Cavs have now lost 22 of their past 25 games and showed on Saturday why they are headed for a top-5 pick this season.
Just 6 minutes into the game, the Pacers were already leading by double figures and that lead never got less than 9 points the entire night.
Bojan Bogdanovic once again led the Pacers with 23 points.
The Pacers shot 53.6 percent from the field, stretching their record to 20-1 when shooting better than 50 percent.
A heavy emphasis on ball movement continues to be a staple for the Pacers. They had 31 assists on Saturday.
The Pacers went 3-1 against the Cavaliers this season.
Three Pacers’ Takeaways:
-Steady Guards Leading: While the Pacers are still seeking out more production from the 2-guard spot right now, veteran guards Darren Collison and Cory Joseph are handling their roles just fine. Collison had 18 points and 9 assists on Saturday. In his last 4 games, Collison has dished out 25 assists and committed just 1 turnover. Against the Cavs, Joseph nearly had a triple double (10 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds) off the bench. When Tyreke Evans was out last week, the Pacers tried Joseph in the starting lineup. That experiment didn’t lead to great results. Joseph clearly is more at home with the second unit and that was on full display against Cleveland.
-Playing More Through The Post: During his post-NBA trade deadline chat with the media on Friday, Kevin Pritchard offered plenty of praise for his big men. Pritchard said the trio of Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Thaddeus Young deserve to be right up there with any big man rotation in the league. Those guys stepped up again on Saturday, including knocking down 5-of-9 from behind the arc. Nate McMillan is having the Pacers play more through the post, which also involves Bojan Bogdanovic showing off more of his mid-range game. That’s been the major offensive adjustment for the Pacers without Victor Oladipo’s individual creativity and playmaking.
-Turner’s Scare No, not again. That was the thought inside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse when Myles Turner went down grabbing his right knee during Saturday’s third quarter. Underneath the same basket where Victor Oladipo injured his right knee two and a half weeks ago, you understood the initial panic. But the crisis was adverted when Turner eventually returned to the game after heading to the locker room and being diagnosed with a sore right knee. Turner played just 4 minutes the rest of the night, and didn’t see any action in the fourth quarter of this blowout, but it looked like this injury was just a result of banging knees with Cavs forward Marquese Chriss. After the game, Turner said his knee ‘buckled’ and he was initially scared before realizing a serious injury had been adverted. In Saturday’s first quarter, Turner was outstanding, scoring 12 points, with a couple of buckets via post moves and two shots from long distance, as well.
Pacers Upcoming Schedule
-Hornets (Monday, 2/11)
-Bucks (Wednesday, 2/13)