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(Sunday, January 5th)
Final Score: Indiana 82, Cleveland 78
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Paul George led a balanced attack with 16 points and six assists to help the Indiana Pacers to their ninth straight victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers with an 82-78 win from Quicken Loans Arena.
Roy Hibbert scored 15 points with six rebounds, while David West added 11 points and seven boards in the win.
Lance Stephenson and Danny Granger scored 10 points apiece for Indiana, which has won seven of its last eight.
"This is a good win for our guys," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "Games like that are never as easy as they should be when you have a bunch of guys out or a bunch of key guys out. They are dangerous games. We didn't play a great game, but good enough to get a win."
Cleveland was without guards Kyrie Irving (left knee contusion) and Jarrett Jack (back spasms). Irving has missed the Cavs' last three tilts.
CJ Miles posted a game-high 21 points for Cleveland, which has lost eight of its last nine games overall.
Tristan Thompson contributed a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Dion Waiters scored 14 and Matthew Dellavedova netted 11 points in his third career start.
"I thought our guys competed tonight," said Cavs coach Mike Brown. "I thought they tried to play the game the right way (against) a very good Pacer team."
Cleveland opened the second half on an 8-1 run to cut the halftime deficit to two, 45-43, with just under nine minutes left in the third.
The Cavs trailed 60-58 following a Dellavedova 3 with under three minutes left in the frame when Indiana bridged the third and fourth quarters with a 14-0 surge. George opened the run with a pair of free throws with 1 1/2 minutes left in the third and Granger closed it with a 3 at the 9:39 mark of the fourth to extend the Pacers lead to 74-58.
Waiters then spearheaded a 16-1 run that he capped with the final 12 points to pull the hosts to within one, 75-74, with 3 1/2 minutes to go.
Indiana was held without a field goal for nearly seven minutes until West knocked down a jumper to extend the lead to three.
Anderson Varejao, who finished with seven points and a game-high 13 rebounds, made a dunk to make it a one-point game again with 1:44 remaining.
Hibbert split a pair at the line with less than a minute left to make it 80-78 in favor of the visitors.
Waiters missed a 3-pointer with 24.9 seconds left, but CJ Miles collected the offensive rebound and the Cavs held for the last shot.
Following a timeout, Waiters drove the lane and put up a shot after a good bit of contact from Hibbert and George. Whistles were silent on the play and Hibbert proceeded to make 1-of-2 from the line to push the lead to 81-78.
The door was left open for Cleveland, however, but quickly slammed shut as Earl Clark's foot was on the sideline as he received the inbounds pass from Dellavedova.
West hit 1-of-2 to seal the win and help Indiana maintain its dominance over a division rival.
Indiana led 22-18 after one quarter and the Pacers ended the final 3:49 of the second quarter on a 9-2 spurt which gave them a 44-35 advantage at the break.
Cleveland was 18-of-20 (90 percent) from the free-throw line ... The Cavs shot a paltry 6-of-20 (30 percent) from beyond the arc ... Indiana didn't fare much better from the floor with the Pacers shooting 28-of-77 (36.4 percent) from the floor and 8-for-24 (33.3 percent) from deep ... Cleveland outrebounded the Pacers 49-42 ... Both teams are in action on Tuesday as the Pacers host Toronto and the Cavs welcome Philadelphia to the Q.
01/05 23:08:13 ET