INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 25 points and LeBron James had 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Indiana Pacers 111-106 in overtime on Monday night.
James only scored seven points after halftime, but it was enough to give the Cavaliers their fifth straight win under new coach Tyronn Lue — and their first win in Indy in six years.
George Hill matched his season-high with 23 points, while Myles Turner had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana.
The Pacers controlled most of the second half, but James’ layup with 1:16 left in regulation gave Cleveland a 94-93 lead.
Then, with the game tied at 96 and the shot clock off, Indiana’s Monta Ellis nearly dribbled out the clock before missing a midrange jumper at the buzzer.
Irving’s 13-footer with 3:01 left gave the Cavs a 103-100 lead and they never trailed again.
After the Cavs shot 61.9 percent from the field in the first half to take a 60-49 halftime lead, the Pacers slowed the surging Cavs.
Indiana allowed just 15 points in the third quarter and rallied to take a 79-75 lead. It didn’t trail again until James’ late layup made it 94-93.
The Pacers answered with a 3-pointer from Hill, and Irving tied it again at 96 with a 12-foot jumper with 44.3 seconds left. When Kevin Love was called for a foul with 20.7 seconds left, the Pacers had a chance to win it, but Ellis’ shot hit nothing but the backboard.
Love got the Cavs started in overtime with a 3 from the wing to make it 99-98, Irving scored the next two baskets to make it 103-100, and the Cavs closed it out by making six straight free throws in the final 48 seconds.
Love and J.R. Smith each scored 19 points. Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Paul George had 11 points and eight assists but was 3 of 15 from the field. Jordan Hill scored 17 points and Ellis finished with 14 for the Pacers.
ALL ABOUT THE ‘D’
Coaches Frank Vogel and Lue offered similar sentiments before Monday’s game. Both expect their teams to play better defensively moving forward. Vogel told reporters he believes the Pacers can become a “dominant defense” and when they do, they will start winning more games. Lue explained that the Cavs are playing well offensively but can still improve defensively.
Cavaliers: Cleveland improved to a league-best 10-1 on the road since Dec. 28. … Cleveland’s streak of scoring at least 114 points ended after four games. It was the Cavs’ longest streak since Dec. 15-19, 1992. … James moved within 14 points of passing Kevin Garnett (26,071) for No. 16 in NBA history. … Smith made four 3s to pass Mike Miller (1,577) for No. 18 on the league career list. Smith has 1,580. … Cleveland had lost 10 straight in Indy since their last win Jan. 29, 2010.
Pacers: Indiana played without center Ian Mahinmi (back) and guard Rodney Stuckey (sprained right foot and bone bruise). … The loss ended Indiana’s two-game winning streak. … Turner also blocked four shots, including one as James drove to the rim with 4:31 left in regulation. The play drew the loudest cheer of the night.
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