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Cavaliers 111, Pacers 106: LeBron and Cavs Skip Past Pacers

The Cavs made sure to keep track of all their 3-balls.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Man, this L is going to sting for awhile. The Pacers didn't play their best but appeared to play just well enough to earn a win. Poor execution down the stretch gave the Cavs pthe opportunities they needed to earn the W, 111-106.

I visualized this game through the words of Mark Boyle and Slick Leonard, always a pleasure. While tracking the stats and listening to the game, it looked like a stat anomoly was about to occur when the Pacers took a five point lead in the fourth quarter. The Pacers were looking at their first win while shooting a lower FG percentage than their opponent. Also, they were going to have far fewer 3-balls than the Cavs. Those two numbers alone are usually a guaranteed loss, and in the end the numbers held up.

The Pacers had a few bad possessions in the last three minutes of the game that bit them hard. At about the 2:40 mark the Pacers had the ball and a 99-97 lead. Danny Granger dribbled the ball off his foot allowing LeBron to scoop it up and take it the other way.

LeBron missed a FT so it's 99-98. On the next possession Jeff Foster launches a quick 20-footer. Huh? Not only don't they us a little clock, but Foster from 20 feet? LeBron is fouled at the other end and the Cavs are now up 100-99.

From that point on, the Cavs just had to make plays to win and they did. LeBron finished off his triple-double with a few of his patented skip passes to Sasha Pavlovic and Damon Jones for wide-open 3-balls. They didn't miss. In fact it seemd like all of LeBron's assists were skip passes for wide-open threes. Daggers!

On a day when other Central Division rivals Detroit and Chicago both lost, this loss and thawrting a chance to pick up a game on the Central beasts represent a blown opportunity.

Jermaine O'Neal did not play and his presence would've been nice up front. Troy Murphy just had one of those days when he couldn't throw it in the ocean. David Harrison played well but did have a costly hanging on the rim call that negated a late bucket that would've given the Pacers a one point lead just unde a minute to go.

Forget J.O. on offense though, he would've been huge at the defensive end. Dwight Gooden was far too effective for the Cavs without having to contend with J.O. down low.

To gather a little encouragement as the Pacers head out on the road, remember that the Pacers didn't play real well. Yet, they went to the wire with the Cavs who were able to get big games from LeBron's supporting cast. When Gooden, Pavlocic, Jones, and Gibson are all chipping in like they did today, the Cavs are a tough out.

Yeah, I know, that doesn't really help. The loss still stings.