Cavaliers drop ball in 119-99 New Year’s Eve loss to Pacers

Cleveland opens six game road trip with loss

Cavaliers drop ball in 119-99 New Year’s Eve loss to Pacers
Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. (22) fight for a long rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Source: Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS - Domantas Sabonis had 25 points and made two of Indiana’s 16 3-pointers in the Pacers’ 119-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

All-Star guard Victor Oladipo hit four 3-pointers, reserves Doug McDermott and Aaron Holiday each had three and the Pacers finished 16 of 35 from long range. Indiana, playing seven of its first nine at home, improved to 4-1.

Sabonis, the 6-foot-11 center who usually does most of his work inside, made both of his 3-point tries and shot 10 of 14 overall. He also had 11 rebounds.

Shooting guard Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 28 points, and point guard Darius Garland added 21. Cleveland was 12 of 23 on 3-pointers in the first of six straight road games. The Cavs are 3-2.

Two days after blowing a 17-point, third-quarter lead in a home loss to Boston, the Pacers pulled away again after halftime to take a 20-point advantage into the fourth quarter.

McDermott scored 11 first-half points off the bench to spark the Pacers. They led by 11 in the second quarter and were ahead 57-51 at halftime. McDermott closed out the third quarter with a finger-roll layup for an 88-68 lead.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Sexton has scored at least 20 points in 10 consecutive games, dating to last season.

Pacers: T.J. Warren missed his first start due to a sore left foot. “They’re figuring it out,” Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren said. “T.J. wants to play so bad. He wants to be out there. That’s the kind of guy he is. That’s why I love him. ... They’re going to keep monitoring it.” ... Donnie Walsh, a longtime general manager who has been a consultant for the past decade, retired Wednesday at age 80.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: At Atlanta on Saturday night.

Pacers: Host New York on Saturday night.

Copyright Associated Press 2020