The Cleveland Cavaliers did what they wanted, when they wanted and kept the Indiana Pacers under their thumb all night to secure another easy win, 97-73.
Save for a few minutes in the first quarter, a few minutes in the fourth quarter and a little scrum after Danny Granger gave a hard foul to LeBron James, the Pacers just didn't show any life in their game. The team's demeanor seemed frustrated as opposed to motivated. They just couldn't get anything positive going for long enough to inflict any damage on the Cavs.
During the game, my the power adapter for my laptop stopped working which seemed to be the same problem Jim O'Brien had tonight. Regardless of the player combinations he tried to plug in, none could provide enough energy to stay with the Cavs.
The Cavs certainly played their part in stifling the Pacers. Considering LeBron James was merely a common cog in the machine tonight, the Cavs really made it look easy. Of course, LeBron made sure Danny Granger didn't sniff another 30-point night against him and Danny finished with only seven FGAs, making two for a four-point night.
While LeBron only had 11 points on the night, the Cavs found plenty of options to provide scoring. With fans wearing fake wigs for Anderson Varejao Night, the floppy-haired forward responded with 17 first half points, most during an 18-4 Cavs' run which set the tone for the rest of the game.
Mo Williams took over the third quarter scoring duties and also finished the game with 17. In fact, LeBron's 11 points left him as the sixth leading scorer on the night for the Cavs. This was an impressive effort from the Cavs.
The only other action of note was a minor scrum after a frustrated Danny Granger halted a LeBron thunder dunk with a hard foul in the fourth quarter. LeBron took exception and pretty soon everyone was puffing out their chest and giving half-shoves. Most seemed to be playing peace-maker Troy Murphy, Danny, LeBron and Zydrunas Ilgauskas were T'd up.
One replay showed who should've earned the T, though. With things cooled down, our old friend Ben Wallace shoved Stephen Graham in the small of the back. Yes, Graham's back was turned to him and Ben shoved him to reheat the situation. Real tough guy.
Fortunately, there were no swings on either side or other egregious behavior so the T's should serve as just punishment.
JOB shook up the playing rotation a bit tonight as Stephen Graham was the first wing off the bench instead of Brandon Rush. Rush's struggles of late on defense opened up the opportunity for Stevie to play a bigger role. Graham responded with 14 points, including a sick baseline drive and dunk in the second quarter. He also had a couple of turnovers but seemed to play pretty well. Rush wasn't completely buried as he played a few minutes in both the first and second half.
I'd say no one on the Pacers earned additional playing time tonight, though, but the Cavs sure earned my respect. After a week of sampling the best the NBA's elite has to offer, the Cavaliers proved tonight that they belong in the company of NBA title contenders.