Cava­liers can’t re­cover from slow start in loss

Dayton Daily News - - SPORTS - By Tim Bielik

The CavINDIANAPOLIS — aliers could not find their of­fense early on the sec­ond night of a back-to-back at Bankers Life Field­house on Satur­day against the Pac­ers. They were outscored by 13 in the first quar­ter and never got back into the game as they were routed, 105-90.

Jor­dan Clark­son led the Cavs (11-45) off the bench with 18 points. Collin Sex­ton (16 points) and Larry Nance Jr. (16) were the only other Cava­liers to score in dou­ble fig­ures. Nance had a good night from dis­tance, how­ever, shoot­ing 3-for-5 from be­hind the 3-point line.

The three 3-point­ers from Nance was a ca­reer high on a night when he also recorded his fifth con­sec­u­tive dou­ble-dou­ble.

“It’s some­thing Chan- ning (Frye) has been on me re­lent­lessly about,” Nance said. “Our (as­sis­tant) coach, Dan Ge­riot, has been on me re­lent­lessly about (it). I can shoot it. That’s some- thing I have to get game reps at and build my con­fi­dence at.”

Five Pac­ers scored in dou­ble fig­ures led by Bo­jan Bog­danovic’s game-high 23.

The Pac­ers outscored the Cavs, 30-17, in the first quar- ter. Af­ter that, the Cava- liers never trailed by fewer than nine and were be­hind by dou­ble dig­its the en­tire sec­ond half.

“There were a few things we need to im­prove on. Over­all, I thought the ef­fort was there,” Cavs coach Larry Drew said. “We went against a re­ally good ball­club. Not tak­ing any­thing against In­di­ana.

“Hope­fully, we can learn from some of the stuff that we talked about, do­ing things hard, do­ing things with pur­pose. We’ll con­tinue to harp on that.”

Most of In­di­ana’s of­fen­sive dam­age came from in­side the arc. The Pac­ers outscored the Cavs on points in the paint, 54-32.

Pac e rs cen­ter Myles Turner was a prob­lem on both ends of the floor. He had 14 points, in­clud­ing a pair of 3s. He was also a de­ter­rent in the paint with three blocked shots, and caused prob­lems when­ever the Cavs tried to drive into the paint.

The loss was the sixth time this sea­son the Cavs have been held to 90 points or fewer this sea­son.

A brief, but im­pact­ful de­but

Bran­don Knight suited up for the Cava­liers on Satur­day night for his first ac­tion since Jan. 11 when he was with the Rock­ets. Iron­i­cally, that was against the Cavs.

Knight, who was ac­quired in a three-team deal with the Jazz and Rock­ets, came off the bench late in the first quar­ter and hit his first three shots, all 3s.

He fin­ished with nine points in 12 min­utes.

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