November 26, 2014

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Foul-prone Cavaliers fare poorly: Cleveland shows its physical side in loss to Pacers, but refs wear out their whistles

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) scrambles for a loose ball with Indiana Pacers' George Hill, right, in the third quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game Saturday in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) scrambles for a loose ball with Indiana Pacers’ George Hill, right, in the third quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game Saturday in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

CLEVELAND — This game was foul.

Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving all picked up their fifth personals in the third period Saturday as the Cavaliers fell 102-79 to the Indiana Pacers in exhibition action at Quicken Loans Arena.

“Am I going to complain about the fouls? No,” Varejao said. “It is what it is, but it was crazy. There were a lot of fouls. We just have to play through that.”

Thompson, who had four fouls in the third quarter, picked up his fifth overall with 6:05 left in the period and was left in the game momentarily by coach Mike Brown.

Varejao, who had two fouls in the third, got his fifth of the game with 4:26 left in the quarter and also stayed in momentarily.

Irving, who matched Thompson’s four personals in the third, got his fifth overall with 2:53 to go in the quarter and was replaced.
Thompson (11 points, eight rebounds) played 21 minutes, Varejao (six points, eight rebounds) played 23 and Irving (15 points, five rebounds, five assists) played 24.

“Everybody is trying to do what Coach is asking us to do,” Varejao said. “We’re playing hard on defense and trying to be physical. Everybody wants to do well, but sometimes we overreact to stuff and make fouls.”

The Pacers (1-5) attempted 25 free throws in the third period but made just 15, or they would have outscored the Cavs (3-2) by more than 33-26.

And all this came after Cleveland committed just eight personals in the first half, after which it led 39-36.

“I want our guys to be aggressive right now,” Brown said. “I’d rather they be aggressive than passive out on the floor. We’ll figure that out as we go along.”

David West, who led the Pacers with 20 points, took 10 free throws in the quarter, while three other Indiana players — Roy Hibbert, who had four fouls midway through the second period, Lance Stephenson and Luis Scola — attempted four each.

The Cavs, meanwhile, saw No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett (11 points on 3-for-11 shooting, 10 rebounds) foul out in 26 minutes, while backup center Henry Sims exited in 17.

“They’re a physical team and we’re a physical team,” Brown said. “Right now, they do a better job of attracting the call, so to speak.”

As hard as the third quarter was to watch, the first half wasn’t a whole lot better, but it featured some great defense and board work by the Cavs, who led by three despite shooting a woeful .325 from the field, including 1-for-11 on 3-pointers.

That was almost solely because Cleveland outrebounded Indiana 30-15 over the first two periods, with that leading to a 10-0 advantage in second-chance points.

“I thought it was a fun game for the first half and part of the third period,” Brown said. “It was ugly and nasty and neither team had a rhythm.”

Brown called a timeout just 58 seconds into the game after the Cavs blew a defensive assignment to fall behind 2-0. His players got the message, as they clamped down and led the Pacers 16-5 with 3½ minutes left in the opening period.

The Cavs never did get it together offensively, however. They shot a woeful .295 from the field (23-for-78) for the night and made just 3-of-21 from long range while committing 22 turnovers. That more than offset Cleveland’s 55-39 edge on the boards.

There were 83 free throws attempted in the game, with the Cavs going 30-for-41 (.732) and Indiana making 28-of-42 (.667). Cleveland committed 37 fouls, the Pacers 30.

“That’s stuff you can’t control,” Irving said. “It can go either way.”

Tip-ins
Shooting guard Dion Waiters was back in the starting lineup for the Cavs after missing one game with a bruised right hip, while Earl Clark got the nod at small forward. Swingman C.J. Miles also was able to play after missing a game with a sore left leg and undergoing an MRI, but did not see action.

* The Cavs were still without Tyler Zeller (appendectomy), Carrick Felix (hernia), Jarrett Jack (inflamed knee) and Andrew Bynum (knee surgery), while Danny Granger (strained calf) was out for the Pacers.

* Waiters was 0-for-6 from the field in a one-point first half, but made 4-of-7 in the third period to finish with 10 points.

*Alonzo Gee had his best game of the preseason, finishing with nine points in 18 minutes.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.

Pacers 102, Cavs 79

INDIANA (102): George 3-10 3-4 9, West 5-11 10-14 20, Hibbert 2-6 2-4 6, Stephenson 5-6 3-5 13, G.Hill 0-1 0-0 0, S.Hill 2-7 2-2 6, Scola 5-7 3-5 13, Watson 5-8 2-3 14, Butler 2-5 0-0 5, Copeland 5-15 2-3 15, Armstrong 0-0 0-0 0, Sloan 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 34-76 28-42 102.
CLEVELAND (79): Clark 2-6 0-0 4, Thompson 3-4 5-6 11, Varejao 1-5 4-4 6, Waiters 4-13 1-2 10, Irving 5-13 4-6 15, Bennett 3-11 5-6 11, Dellavedova 1-4 0-0 2, Karasev 1-7 4-5 6, Sims 0-4 1-2 1, Gee 3-5 2-4 9, Kadji 0-2 4-6 4, Taylor 0-4 0-0 0, Lee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-78 30-41 79.

Indiana 13 23 33 33 — 102
Cleveland 17 22 26 14 — 79

3-Point Goals—Indiana 6-26 (Copeland 3-11, Watson 2-5, Butler 1-4, Stephenson 0-1, G.Hill 0-1, S.Hill 0-2, George 0-2), Cleveland 3-21 (Gee 1-1, Waiters 1-2, Irving 1-5, Taylor 0-1, Clark 0-2, Bennett 0-3, Dellavedova 0-3, Karasev 0-4). Fouled Out—Bennett, Sims. Rebounds—Indiana 53 (George 6), Cleveland 69 (Bennett 10). Assists—Indiana 25 (George, S.Hill 4), Cleveland 17 (Dellavedova, Irving 5). Total Fouls—Indiana 30, Cleveland 37. Technicals—Indiana defensive three second, Cleveland defensive three second 2. A—14,760 (20,562).


  • SharkSwagPacerPride

    Complaining about fouls already, let alone in a preseason game? Wow lol. The foul shots were pretty even. Pacers are just the more experienced better team after its said and done. Cavs will be a playoff team no doubt but its pacers vs bulls for the division