James, Cavs dump Pacers
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – LeBron James posted 26 points, seven rebounds
and six assists, as the Cleveland Cavaliers cruised past the slumping Indiana
Pacers, 99-88, at Quicken Loans Arena.
Larry Hughes donated 23 points and seven assists while Drew Gooden finished
with 19 points and eight boards for the Cavs, who have won five in a row and
remain on the heals of Detroit for the top spot in the Central Division.
Mike Dunleavy scored 25 points and Ike Diogu added 16 for Indiana, which has
now dropped nine straight and is in jeopardy of losing its once-firm grip on a
Cleveland opened up the game strong, outperforming Indiana 31-18 in the first
quarter to assume command. The key was a 9-2 surge in the latter stages of the
stanza, which Hughes capped with a jumper to make it 20-12.
Then, after Diogu opened the second with a jumper, the Cavs ripped off seven
straight points to stretch the lead to 18. Shannon Brown had a pair of buckets
in the spurt on either end of a James three-point play.
The home team kept the Pacers at arm’s length for the remainder of the half,
and went into the locker room up 55-37.
Hughes had 15 at the break, and James added 14.
The Cavs coasted to victory in the second half.
Indiana was again without the services of forward Jermaine O’ Neal, who is out
for at least a week with a sore left knee…Indiana has lost five straight and
six of its last seven at Cleveland. The Cavaliers have won five of the last
six contests in the series…The Cavaliers, who have won four in a row at
Quicken Loans Arena, are 24-8 at home this season.