After watching the Cavalier play their worst defense in the first three quarters, I have watched the best defense they’ve played this whole season in the fourth to beat the Pacers 105-95 on Friday night.
The Indiana Pacers had turned a five-point halftime deficit into a five-point lead entering the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers allowed them to shoot 63 percent through three quarters.The Cavaliers went back to their identity and put some pressure on the Pacers defensively which caused them to start missing shots. Lebron James scored 10 of his season-high 40 points in the final 7:07.
James sucked the life out of the Pacers and sent the crowd to the exits with a 3-pointer over Dahntay Jones as the shot clock expired that gave the Cavaliers a 101-94 lead with 53 seconds left.
“That was huge,” Cleveland forward J.J. Hickson said. “I always have confidence in his shot, but that kind of sealed the game for us.”
After a rough outing on Wednesday in Washington, J.J. Hickson bounced back with a strong performance on Friday. He finished the game with 15 points on 7-9 shooting including a slam dunk and a layup in the fourth.
Pacers coach Jim O’Brien was ejected with 5:20 left in the first quarter after drawing two technical fouls for walking out to near midcourt to argue with officials. He said was objecting to a play in which he said James “leveled” Indiana point guard T.J. Ford.