Valanciunas nearly earned a double-double in six minutes of play in the opening quarter with nine points and nine rebounds. Cleveland superstar LeBron James led all scorers with 26 points, but none of his teammates could find an offensive groove in the face of a suffocating Toronto defensive stance. Toronto won the rebounding battle. To top it off, this was the only game that would be on a national network in the US, and it was the Raptors who gave Cleveland a taste of their own medicine. The Heat's mark was above their season average of 0.523. He finished with four points and registered a minus-20.
Getting to the line could be hard to come by for IN in this showdown.
Oladipo made the free throw to extend Indiana's lead to 84-82. This season he is well on his way to making his fourth All-Star Game, as he now ranks second in the fan voting among East guards.
Cleveland has a respectable 26-15 straight up (SU) record, but they have a hard time covering the spread (12-27-1 against the spread (ATS)). IN turned it over six times and was 6-of-22 shooting. He would go on to finish with a modest 13 points and a team-high eight assists.
After winning two in a row at home by convincing margins over Chicago and Milwaukee, the Pacers lost 114-106 to visiting Miami on Wednesday night.
On the road, Cleveland is 9-12 ATS with 11 unders and 10 overs. The Cavaliers are 3-7-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings in IN, 4-12-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings and the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
Considering they trailed by a combined 52 points at halftime in their previous two games, virtually anything the Cavs could've done Friday would have been an improvement.
But it wasn't until the backups assembled in the second quarter that the possibility of back-to-back blowout losses for the Cavaliers, who lost by 28 points to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, took shape.
Cleveland ranks third in three pointers attempted per game (32.8) while in ranks 25th (24.9).
The Pacers won the first two meetings, 124-107, on November 1 in Cleveland and 106-102 at in on December 8.
The Pacers average 18.2 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fourth in the National Basketball Association.
How satisfying was that victory over the Cavaliers considering the rough past against them and what do you think about their chances against the Warriors? That's true and Cleveland likely won't consider Toronto a real threat until they provide a post-season scare.
In their last five games, Cleveland is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders. Averaging 10 fastbreak points per game, the Cavs had 34 by halftime.
While injuries have derailed any hopes at completely gelling at this point in the season, it's very clear that something is off.
They scored in every way imaginable and did so without the services of their starting point guard and starting power forward.