Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers Beat Indiana Pacers In Overtime 111-106

LeBron James scored 24 points with 12 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving scored 25 points with 7 rebounds, as the Cleveland Cavaliers gutted out a 111-106 victory in OT over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Their fifth win in a row, the Cavs are now in the lead in the NBA’s Eastern Conference by 3.5 games over the second place Toronto Raptors. Indiana has lost seven of their last ten, and remain in eighth place in the East.

Cleveland’s five starters — which included Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and J.R. Smith — combined for 101 of Cleveland’s 111 points against the Pacers. On top of his 24 points and 12 boards, King James added six assists, a couple of steals, and a blocked shot. As Dennis Manoloff of Cleveland.com noted, the Cavs are 5-1 under Tyronn Lue, their new head coach as of a week-and-a-half ago. Although this only came in overtime, it is also the fifth straight game in which the Cavs have scored 111 or more points.

Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers
The Indiana Pacers (Jordan Hill and George Hill) fight Tristan Thompson for a rebound. The Cavaliers would win in overtime 111-106. [Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
On Indiana’s side, George Hill was the biggest contributor, accounting for 23 points, five rebounds and four assists (as verified by NBA.com). Paul George didn’t have a great night, with just 11 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and five turnovers.

The Cavs lead the Pacers 60-49 at the half, but Indiana dominated the third quarter, beginning the fourth with a 79-75 lead. After a few key mistakes by Indiana’s Monta Ellis and Myles Turner, the Cavaliers forced the Pacers to settle things in overtime with a tied score of 96-96. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were the key players in overtime, working together to score 5 key points and make one major defensive stop. LeBron grabbed a defensive rebound with three seconds remaining to seal the deal.

This comes at a time when Cleveland Cavaliers trade rumors continue to spread. Despite Tyronn Lue’s insistence that the Cavs have no interest in trading Kevin Love, the speculation persists. Many believe that if Love is indeed staying, then Timofey Mozgov is likely to be swapped. Seeing very little playing time as of late, many have also suggested the possibility of a Mo Williams trade. There are even whispers of a blockbuster trade involving Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul or Blake Griffin.

From the Indiana Pacers camp, there are essentially no trade rumors, big or small. The NBA trade deadline is 3:00 p.m. EST on February 18.

Before the trade deadline, the Cavaliers will be shipping LeBron James and Tyronn Lue to the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto on February 14. Despite receiving the third most votes of any guard from the Eastern Conference, Kyrie Irving was snubbed when the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves were selected. Also absent from the line-up is former All-Star Kevin Love.

Paul George will be the sole representative from Indiana at this year’s NBA All-Star Game. He was voted into the starting line-up, alongside James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Kyle Lowry.

The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Charlotte to play the Hornets on Wednesday, February 3. The next game for the Indiana Pacers is in Brooklyn on Wednesday against the Nets.

[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]

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