So when the Cavaliers went down big against the Raptors, James stepped into the mix during a timeout. With the Pacers leading by one, Darren Collison had one more free-throw attempt with less than two seconds to play.
When the Cavaliers pushed, the Raptors pushed back; their slimmest lead of the quarter was 23 points, boosted by an 11-point push from DeRozan and VanVleet reaching a career-high 19 points - he wound up with 22.
And we can't mention Stephenson and James without throwing it back to Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference finals when Stephenson blew in James' ear.
The loss to the Raptors was the Cavaliers' third straight game in which they gave up more than 127 points to their opponent.
No, Dwane Casey and DeMar DeRozan agreed, Thursday wasn't about whether the Raptors could match the reigning Eastern Conference champions, a team that played in the last three National Basketball Association finals, day to day.
After falling behind 6-4, the Cavs went on a 22-0 run in the first quarter.
Sure, the Raptors embarrassed the Cavaliers 133-99 without Kyle Lowry and with DeMar DeRozan held to 13 points.
IN got a nice offensive boost from its bench to start the next frame, particularly veteran big man Al Jefferson. 18 years I've been in this light right here.
Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey in contention for Arsenal's clash with Bournemouth
He had a swollen knee and a recurrence of what he had two or three weeks ago - that's why he wasn't involved on Wednesday'. But the first scan on Wilshere's ankle was positive and now he has a chance to play this weekend.
The Pacers won the first two meetings, 124-107, on November 1 in Cleveland and 106-102 at in on December 8. The Cavs had attempted just seven three-pointers all half - and missed every one.
The real question is, what are Cleveland's players trying to say about LeBron?
The Pacers responded in kind with a second charge. Things can - and likely will - change by the end of the season.almost one month ago, the Cavs were capping their best stretch of basketball, winning their 18th game in 19 tries.
The Pacers completely turned things around in the third quarter, doubling up the Cavs 32-16 and taking two-point lead into the final period.
He drilled down a three over Kyle Korver on one end to give IN an 83-82 lead, then drew a frustrated shove from James on the other end, resulting IN a technical foul and an Oladipo free throw. When a reporter referenced the comment, James was quick to point out that he never said the Cavs were guaranteed a rebirth in the playoffs. Led by seven players finishing in double figures, the home team controlled the pace for nearly the entire game, providing their starters an early finish to their night in the fourth quarter.
Lance Stephenson finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers who improved to 22-20 on the season in front of a crowd of 17,900 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena. The four-time MVP almost had another triple-double, finishing the game with 27 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds.
Early on it certainly didn't look like the Pacers would be carrying that victorious momentum into their upcoming road trip.