NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Indiana
(Monday, April 13th)
Final Score: Cleveland 117, Indiana 109
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - LeBron James tallied 37 points on 12-of-23 shooting, and the Cleveland Cavaliers secured the best record in the NBA with a hard-fought 117-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
The road to the NBA Finals will now go through Cleveland (66-15), as the Cavs finished out their road schedule with a 27-14 record. The runners-up in the 2007 Finals will attempt to tie the 1985-86 Celtics squad for an NBA-record 40-1 home mark when they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
"I'd like to applaud all the guys in [our] locker room, from my coaches to the players," Cavs head coach Mike Brown said. "For this to happen with one game left, it's exciting and I'm proud of them."
James added five rebounds and five assists, while Delonte West contributed 20 points in the club's fifth straight win, which included a 107-76 thrashing of the reigning NBA champion Celtics on Sunday.
"When you consider all the great teams, all the great players, all the great coaches and all the great systems that are in the NBA, for us to finish with the best record is a tremendous feat. And it is something that the franchise should be proud of," James said.
Mo Williams finished with 18 points and eight assists, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas chipped in 16 points with 10 rebounds for the victors.
Danny Granger and Brandon Rush led the Pacers with 38 and 27 points, respectively. Troy Murphy ended with 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who will look forward to the NBA Draft Lottery after Wednesday's season-ending tilt against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Cleveland led the entire second half, but Rush's jumper with just over seven minutes left in the game pulled Indiana within 99-94.
The margin was still five after a pair of Rush free throws with 2:19 left, but James' finger roll, followed by a Rush miss and a Williams three-pointer gave the Cavs a 10-point cushion with under 90 seconds to play that was never threatened the rest of the way.
"I thought out guys really battled. We had some opportunities to get it close. LeBron [James] is all-world and there's not a lot we can do about that," Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien said.
The Pacers were ahead 27-26 after the first quarter and were up by three, 41-38, near the midway point in the second frame before the Cavs turned the tide in their favor.
Anderson Varejao and James sparked the a visitors to a 24-6 run to end the half. James scored 11 points during the flurry and Varejao added five and a bevy of hustle plays and offensive rebounds.
The Pacers cut into their 62-47 halftime deficit thanks to 12 third-quarter points from Murphy. After the high-scoring frame the hosts were down 91-84.
Cavs forward Ben Wallace did not play due to a left patella tendon strain... Indiana is 24-16 at home this season...Cleveland won three of four against Indiana this season and has won 13 of the last 15 matchups between the teams...Varejao ended with seven points and 11 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensively.
04/13 23:05:34 ET