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Pacers' lead shrinks after loss to Cavs
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Dion Waiters led six Cleveland scorers in double figures with 19 points as the Cavaliers ended a nine-game losing streak against the Indiana Pacers with a 90-76 triumph at Quicken Loans Arena.
Luol Deng donated 15 points, Spencer Hawes scored 13 and Tristan Thompson tallied 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have won four of their last five games.
Paul George scored 15 points and grabbed seven boards to pace the Pacers, who were handed their second straight double-digit defeat following a hard-fought 84-83 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
Indiana, which shot just 37.2 percent from the floor, saw its lead over the Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference sliced to just one game after suffering its fifth straight road loss on Sunday.
Cleveland raced out to an 8-0 lead just over three minutes in behind four points from Waiters and used a 9-1 swing late in the frame to take a 25-20 edge after 12 minutes.
The Pacers pulled within one, 35-34, on a Donald Sloan layup with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half, but Cleveland countered with 12 straight points to build a double-digit spread.
Deng netted the first five points of the burst, which Thompson capped with a jumper for a 47-34 lead just 1:52 prior to halftime.
Cleveland carried a 49-36 lead into the break, but Indiana opened the second half on a 7-0 surge to get within six.
With the margin at six following David West's layup with 7:01 left in the third, Cleveland reeled off nine straight points to push their lead back to double digits.
The Cavs led 73-58 after the third and used an 11-2 burst midway through the fourth to extend the lead to 21.
Indiana failed to get closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Cleveland's Anderson Varejao left the game in the second quarter with a right shoulder strain and did not return ... West, who finished with 14 points, received a Flagrant 1 foul in the fourth quarter for striking Hawes in the throat ... Cleveland scored 22 points off 16 Indiana turnovers ... Jarrett Jack and Matthew Dellavedova each scored 11 for Cleveland.
03/30 17:51:24 ET