A second quarter lull for the Indiana Pacers left them just shy in a quest for a comeback win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, dropping to 1-2 in Las Vegas Summer League play after a 93-88 loss to the Cavs. The Pacers lost their second quarter 26-18, unable to make up ground in the second half, playing to a draw after the break.
Defense was optional for stretches, but not completely abandoned. While the Cavs enjoyed easy trips to the rim, the Pacers did have 11 steals and seven blocks, led by Aaron Holiday with three steals and T.J. Leaf with two blocks.
Leaf would lead the way for the Pacers with 20 points and nine rebounds. Seven of those rebounds came on the offensive glass, but the Pacers were only able to get four points out of those opportunities. Leaf’s play continued to trend inside as he continued his poor shooting from deep, going just 1-5.
Leaf’s three point shooting continues to confound as he looks wildly uncomfortable in many of the attempts he’s taking while still pulling into a couple of confident, in rhythm looks that either go or are far closer than the hesitation bricks he’s put up as well. Leaf was the focus of the offense, shooting 8-21.
Unfortunately for the Pacers, their other offensive focus in Holiday was not any better, going 4-14 and a dreadful 1-7 from three point range. Holiday was also loose with the ball, dishing eight assists, but committing eight turnovers. While there has been inconsistency on offense, Holiday continues to show a knack for finding the ball with his three steals, though again, the Pacers were unable to really capitalize on that, scoring on just one possession.
There positives in the starting lineup, however, with Edmond Sumner scoring 14 points on 6-11 shooting, including 2-3 from deep. Sumner’s shooting was very confident in this game, no one was more reliable in getting the Pacers a needed bucket than he was. Ben Moore shot a perfect 3-3 as part of his nine points, giving the starting unit a big lift in terms of hustle.
Of course, the Pacers were led in hustle by Alize Johnson, who had 16 points and seven rebounds, three offensive, scoring four in return. Johnson’s shot was solid around the rim, but not so much anywhere else, hitting just one shot outside of the paint, a corner three assisted by Sumner.
Overall, the execution just wasn’t there for the Pacers. Bulk shooting from Leaf and Holiday make sense in terms of figuring out what the team has moving forward, but neither offered a lot of reliability in getting the Pacers into position to win. The Pacers at 1-2 will continue Summer League action later this week, though their schedule and opponent is not yet known.