Cavaliers can’t recover from slow start in loss
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.