It marked the first time in James' career that his team had trailed by 20 or more points at the half in consecutive games, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
James stepped out of bounds on a drive to the basket with less than two seconds left. "James recorded a game-high 26 points, but had just one assist to two turnovers and finished a game-worst minus-22 in 32 minutes of action".
The Cleveland Cavaliers haven't been the most consistent regular season team in recent years and that is understandable given the way the team prioritizes playoff success over exploits in December and January.
The Cavaliers entered Friday's contest seemingly in disarray.
In addition to Thompson, Cleveland holds two first-round picks that could be used in a big deal before the February 8 trade deadline - their own choice and the coveted Brooklyn pick acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade - and would be interested in landing Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, according to Charania. IN took the lead for good on a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Victor Oladipo with 2:10 to play.
The Pacers' offense was anemic for much of that stretch, going scoreless for a 6:58 stretch.
The Cavaliers hit 13 of 22 shots to hold a 34-12 advantage after the opening quarter.
Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman dunks during the first half of Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers. ASSOCIATED PRESS
IN got a nice offensive boost from its bench to start the next frame, particularly veteran big man Al Jefferson. The Pacers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Friday games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs.
Simmons had 15 points, three assists, two rebounds, two steals and two blocks as the 76ers let a 22-point first half lead slip.
The Pacers responded in kind with a second charge.
The Pacers have now won six games this season when trailing by at least 10 points.
The Pacers took a one-point lead off a Lance Stephenson 3-pointer, but Stephenson wasn't done with his work. "You have to get out to their 3-point shooters". Cleveland remained in front for the next several minutes until Oladipo's 3-pointer with 2:10 to play gave the Pacers a 96-95 lead. The Cavaliers are 3-7-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings in IN, 4-12-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings and the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
Siakam was also stellar, scoring 16 points, adding four assists (where did that come from?) and eight rebounds. Jeff Green added 13 points, Jae Crowder 11 and Kevin Love contributed 10 points and nine rebounds. While the Cavaliers are still third in the Eastern Conference, judging from the past few performances, they aren't where they need to be.
Nadal, Federer get top seeds at Australian Open
Britain's sole representative Kyle Edmund will face big-serving US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson in the first round. I still have this afternoon and tomorrow, the last practice before the competition starts for me.