Cavaliers send Pacers to fifth straight loss

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers could have used Peja
Stojakovic's long-range shooting skills against the Cleveland

Indiana's Austin Croshere missed everything on a 3-pointer that
would have tied the game in the closing seconds and the Cavaliers
beat the Pacers 93-89 Friday night.

Stojakovic, Indiana's newest player, was with the Pacers but did
not suit up. He arrived in Indianapolis on Friday after being
traded from the Sacramento Kings for Ron Artest.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas made 12 of 12 free throws in the fourth
quarter and finished with 27 points and six rebounds for Cleveland.
LeBron James added 30 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

Indiana rookie Danny Granger had career highs of 21 points and
14 rebounds and reserve Fred Jones added 20 points.

The Cavaliers won their fourth straight game and snapped a
seven-game losing streak at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers lost
their fifth straight and seventh of nine.

"We have been doing a great job lately of closing out games on
the road, and it was nice to see us able to do that here tonight,"
James said. "It's something we need to keep up."

Indiana played without starters Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal
Tinsley and top reserve Jeff Foster.

O'Neal, who plays power forward and center, is out for at least
eight weeks with a torn left groin. Ilgauskas, a 7-foot-3 center,
took advantage.

"It definitely makes things a lot easier for me," he said. "I
was able to make strong moves to the basket in the second half, and
I shot a lot of free throws and I was able to make them."

James scored 14 points in the first quarter and the Cavaliers
led 27-20 after one.

The Pacers shot 33 percent from the field in the first quarter,
but bounced back to shoot 50 percent in the second to cut
Cleveland's lead to 47-43 at the break.

The Pacers took an 87-84 lead on David Harrison's layup with
1:58 left, but Ilgauskas made six of six free throws in the final
1:38 and the Pacers had just one field goal the rest of the way.
Cleveland outscored the Pacers 24-11 from the free-throw line.

The Pacers fell to 21-21, the first time this season they have
been .500 or below.

"We hung in there, gave ourselves a chance to win, but didn't
take advantage of it," said Indiana guard Sarunas Jasikevicius,
who finished with 10 points. "We fought together and showed that
we could be a good basketball team."

Stephen Jackson made six of 20 field goals and scored 14 points
for Indiana, which lost to Cleveland 96-66 on Tuesday.

Granger made eight of 11 field goals, including a 3-pointer that
gave the Pacers their first lead of the game, 81-80, with six
minutes left.

The Pacers will spend the next few days trying to get Stojakovic
comfortable with their schemes. He'll make his Indiana debut
Tuesday at Washington. His first home game will be Wednesday
against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Game notes
Tinsley sat out with a sore elbow. He recently missed 11
games with right elbow and bicep injuries, then played four games
before going back to the bench. ... Indiana's Scot Pollard played
for the first time in nine games. He scored six points.


ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • adidas Youth Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving #2 Home White Replica JerseyShop

  • adidas Men's Indiana Pacers George Hill #3 Gold T-ShirtPrice: $32.00 Shop

NBA News