Pacers stay perfect against Cleveland, rally back to win 97-95

Aubrey Yates
January 13, 2018

With only two losses at the Air Canada Centre this season, the Raptors are establishing a dominance that can make them a unsafe team if they can secure home court advantage.

In their place has emerged a far more egalitarian system, created to make Toronto far less predictable when it enters the crucible of the NBA's post-season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' struggles continued Friday after losing for the eighth time in 11 games by blowing a 22-point lead against the Indiana Pacers in a 97-95 defeat.

James had 27 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds and was called for a technical foul after reacting to Stephenson's jab by shoving him in the chest.

James was understandably frustrated, and he was caught on cameras in the first half of the game lashing out at his team-mates and assistant coach Phil Handy, after Pascal Siakam dunked with little resistance. Lowry was sidelined with a bruised tailbone, Ibaka suspended one game by the league for fighting in Monday's loss to the Miami Heat.

Toronto lost to Golden State 117-112 in Oakland, Calif., on October 25, just the fourth game of the season for the Raptors. Instead, it only gave the Cavs a higher cliff to fall from.

Cleveland, which lost its previous two games by a combined 62 points, was outscored 84-61 over the final three quarters.

All told, it was one of the Cavs' worst shooting nights of the season as they connected on just 38.2 percent from the field as a team and an even worse 6-for-26 (23.1 percent) from 3-point territory.

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Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman dunks during the first half of Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers. ASSOCIATED PRESS

While America loves a good Petty War, they may have to look elsewhere for a battle this time. Two straight losses by at least 25 points means history is working against them in a quest for another National Basketball Association championship.The Raptors?

Thomas was very effective in his first two games, but his last few outings have been terrible.

Scroll down to check out some of the reactions to the Cavs recent struggles. They improved to 3-0 on the season against Cleveland.

Bucks forward Khris Middleton went two for 12 from the floor with a mere eight points and four assists in Milwaukee's 108-94 loss to the Warriors.

After the game, James apparently was not interested in diagnosing the Cavs' problems.

Larry Nance Jr had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who blew an early 19-point lead before running away in the fourth quarter. That Brooklyn pick, though, they own from the Kyrie Irving trade with Boston, they have not used that at all in conversations for DeAndre Jordan. Thomas went 0-for-11 with several attempts blocked before ending the drought with 7:22 left in the third quarter.

But James knocked down a 3-pointer on the ensuing Cavs possesion and Cleveland slowly built its lead back up to 12 points.

Fred VanVleet continues to turn heads after notching a career high of 22 points with six three's, four rebounds and four assists.

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