Pacers rally from 22-point deficit to beat Cavaliers


INDIANAPOLIS — Lance Stephenson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Darren Collison scored 22 points and the Indiana Pacers rallied from a 22-point, first-half deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-95 on Friday night.

The Pacers have won three of four and improved to 3-0 against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs.

LeBron James did everything he could to prevent the Cavs from losing a third straight game. He finished with 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, while Kevin Love had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

But James had two chances in the final two seconds to win it and missed both opportunities — after Victor Oladipo gave Indiana the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 2:09 left in the game.

First, the four-time MVP stepped out of bounds with 1.7 seconds to go, a play that was confirmed on replay review. Then, after Collison made a free throw to give the Pacers a 97-95 lead, James’ desperation 3 bounced high off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

James also was baited into a technical foul by Stephenson with 7:53 left in the game. A replay review showed James shoving Stephenson in the chest, though TV replays showed Stephenson driving his thumb into James’ side.

Oladipo made the free throw to extend Indiana’s lead to 84-82.

Cleveland, which lost its previous two games by a combined 62 points, was outscored 84-61 over the final three quarters and wound up blowing the lead almost exactly nine months after the Cavs rallied from a 26-point deficit to beat Indiana in the playoffs.

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca

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