Struggling Cavs fall to Pacers, drop 4th in a row

AFP
The Pacers had lost nine meetings in a row with the Cavaliers since March 2014 – four months before LeBron James returned from Miami to Cleveland.
AFP
Reuters

New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (left) controls the ball against Houston Rockets power forward Zhou Qi during the fourth quarter of their NBA game at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 1, 2017. The Rockets won 119-97.

A Cleveland Cavaliers lineup struggling to come together and sustain effort for a full game suffered its fourth consecutive National Basketball Association loss on Wednesday, falling 107-124 to visiting Indiana.

Every Pacers starter scored in double figures, with Thaddeus Young netting 26 points, Darren Collison adding 25 and Victor Oladipo pouring in 23 as Cleveland (3-5) suffered a fifth loss in six games, the past three by a combined 58 points.

"The other games we just got our butts kicked," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "Tonight, I thought we did some good things. We just couldn't sustain it. But the other games we just flat out got our butts kicked. So seeing an improvement."

The Pacers had lost nine meetings in a row with the Cavaliers since March 2014 — four months before LeBron James returned from Miami to Cleveland.

"It's just we have an opportunity to be very good and then you see some of the lulls that we have and it's just very difficult on our team right now," James said.

"We're just trying to figure it out on the fly and unfortunately we don't have time to practice a lot and do those things."

James led Cleveland with 33 points and 11 assists but committed a game-high eight turnovers, while Derrick Rose added 19 points.

"We can't sustain effort for 48 minutes," James said. "They hit a few bombs at the end and the game got out of hand."

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson missed the second half with a left calf strain.

"Now Tristan went down again so we don't know how long he's going to be out," James said. "Our team is kind of depleted as well, both on and off the floor."

With an average age of 30, the Cavaliers have the NBA's oldest roster.

James is the NBA's sixth player with 400 regular-season games of at least 30 points, joining Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In New York, James Harden had 31 points and nine assists, and Houston, its 3-pointers falling again, scored a 119-97 victory over the Knicks.

Harden made six 3-pointers and the Rockets hit 19 to bounce back after two straight losses.

Ryan Anderson added 21 points for the Rockets. They won their eighth straight at Madison Square Garden, a streak that lasts so long that Mike D'Antoni was the Knicks' coach last time they beat Houston at home, back on January 26, 2009.

Tim Hardaway Jr scored 23 points for the Knicks, but Kristaps Porzingis was held to 19 as their three-game winning streak was snapped.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, it was: Celtics 113, Kings 86; Suns 122, Wizards 116; Hornets 126, Bucks 121; Timberwolves 104, Pelicans 98; Magic 101, Grizzlies 99; Nuggets 129, Raptors 111; Jazz 112, Trail Blazers 103, OT; Heat 97, Bulls 91; 76ers 119, Hawks 109; and Clippers 119, Mavericks 98.


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