George scores 31 points, Pacers beat LeBron-less Cavs 103-93
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George scored 21 points and the Indiana Pacers took advantage off the resting LeBron James' absence to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-93 on Wednesday night.
Jeff Teague added 20 points and eight assists, and Thaddeus Young had 16 points to help the Pacers improve to 6-1 at home and 6-6 overall.
James sat out for the first time this season. Averaging 23.4 points and 8.9 rebounds, he rested after playing Tuesday night in a home victory over Toronto. Guard J.R. Smith also missed the game because of a sprained right ankle.
Kevin Love led Cleveland with 27 points and 16 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving had 24 points and seven assists. The Cavaliers dropped to 9-2 after matching the best strat in franchise history with the victory over Toronto on Tuesday night.
Indiana led 80-68 lead after three quarters. The Cavaliers cut it to four points midway through the fourth, but the Pacers put it away with a 9-2 run. C.J. Miles hit a 3-pointer for the game's largest lead — 97-84 with 5:10 remaining.
Cavaliers: Smith has missed the last three games. The last time James skipped a road game at Indiana, the Pacers prevailed 123-109 on April 6, 2016. The Cavaliers extended their NBA-record streak of games with at least 10 3-pointers to start a season to 11 games.
Pacers: G Rodney Stuckey (right hamstring strain) was scratched for the 10th consecutive game. Thanks in large part to C Myles Turner's 2.3 blocks per game, Indiana is No. 1 in the NBA with a 6.4 average.
HICKORY NIGHT RETURNS:
Friday's Indiana home game against Phoenix coincides with the 30th anniversary of the classic 1986 basketball movie “Hoosiers” and will be the first of six Hickory Nights, in which the Pacers will wear Hickory Huskers replica uniforms from the movie. Hoosiers screenwriter Angelo Pizzo, director David Anspaugh and some of the film's actors, including Maris Valainis (who played Jimmy Chitwood) will be in attendance.
SEE YA DOWN THE ROAD:
The Eastern Conference rivals don't play each other again until Feb. 8 at Indiana, then Feb. 15 at Cleveland and April 2 at Cleveland. The Cavaliers have won five in a row at home against the Pacers, who have a 93-88 series edge.
Cavaliers: Host Detroit on Friday night, then have a four-day break.
Pacers: Host Phoenix on Friday night to end a four-game homestand.
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