NBA Basketball
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Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Indiana 28 20 26 25 99
Cleveland 26 39 25 20 110
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , October 26, 2019
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio  Attendance: 19,432

Pacers, Cavs meet in search of first win in '19

According to STATS
According to STATS

Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers

  1. The Pacers have gone 6-2 against the Cavaliers since 2017-18, shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three. They are one of two teams to shoot 50.0+ percent from the floor and 40.0+ percent from three against a divisional opponent since 2017-18, along with the Clippers against the Suns.
  2. Indiana lost its season opener to Detroit on Wednesday, 119-110, its first season-opening loss since 2015-16 against Toronto. The Pacers were outscored in the fourth quarter, 36-24. Last season, the Pacers allowed just 25.6 points per game in the fourth quarter, third fewest in the NBA.
  3. The Cavaliers lost their first game at the Magic, 94-85, their fewest points in a season opener since 2008-09 (also 85). They shot just 37.1 percent from the floor, their 16th game shooting under 40.0 percent since last season, third most in the NBA.
  4. Domantas Sabonis (27), Myles Turner (25) and Malcolm Brogdon (22) each had at least 22 points in the Pacers' loss to Detroit. This is the first time in franchise history the Pacers have had three 22-point scorers in a season opener.
  5. Kevin Love had 18 rebounds against the Magic, tied for the second-most rebounds by a Cavs player in a season opener all-time (Anderson Varejao, 23 in 2012-13). Despite playing in only 23 games, Love ranks sixth in the NBA in rebounds per 36 minutes since last season (minimum 500 minutes).
  6. The Pacers ranked third in the NBA in field-goal percentage differential last season at +0.25 (47.5 to 45.0). The Cavaliers ranked dead last in field-goal percentage differential at -0.51 (44.4 to 49.5), the worst single-season mark since the 2015-16 Lakers (-0.59).

Central Division counterparts Cleveland and Indiana seek their first win of the 2019-2020 season Saturday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The host Cavaliers (0-1) dropped their opening-night contest to the Orlando Magic 94-85 in the regular-season debut of first-year coach John Beilein. Beilein accepted Cleveland's coaching vacancy in May after a lengthy career in the college ranks, most notably his 12 seasons at the University of Michigan.

Beilein's Michigan tenure included two runs to the NCAA National Championship Game, running a highly efficient offensive style, but in his NBA debut, his Cavaliers struggled to score.

"Every time we play a game, we're going to learn exponentially how to get better," Beilein told reporters after the opener. "We've got to get more possessions. We've got to be able to get up the floor."

It was a similar opening-night story for Indiana (0-1). The Pacers didn't suffer through any one quarter quite as offensively anemic as Cleveland's 17-point second against Orlando, but a dry spell of more than three minutes in the fourth doomed them against Detroit.

"Offensively, we didn't really have a flow," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said in his postgame press conference. "The pressure bothered us. There were times we just looked out of synch, and I thought that was due to the pressure."

A lack of bench production hindered both Cleveland and Indiana their first times out. The Pacers got just 16 points from their reserves. The Cavs got 21.

Should Saturday's contest go a similar route, Indiana's primary concern becomes defending dribble-drive penetration. McMillan said the Pacers' inability to contain Derrick Rose's slashing, particularly in the first half, plagued his team.

Beilein's offense has long built off attacking from the perimeter with two ball-handlers instead of a designated point guard. Second-year guard Collin Sexton and rookie Darius Garland manned much of the responsibilities in the opener while veteran Jordan Clarkson played almost 19 minutes and shot a dismal 2-of-12 from the floor in that time.

Forcing misses from the perimeter players is one step for Indiana; keeping the Cavs off the boards on those misses is next. The Pacers were outrebounded 45-36 in the opener, with Andre Drummond accounting for 23 of those. Cleveland comes in with a similarly skilled rebounder in Kevin Love. He grabbed 18 against Orlando, although just one was on the offensive end.

Love and Tristan Thompson match up with the Indiana frontcourt of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis notched 27 points and 13 rebounds on Wednesday, building off a promising 2018-19.

A breakout star a season ago, Turner finished with 25 points and nine rebounds in the opener.

Marquee offseason acquisition Malcolm Brogdon also impressed in the opener, dishing out 11 assists to go with his 22 points. The former Milwaukee Buck figures to handle much of the scoring responsibility from the perimeter with All-Star Victor Oladipo still rehabbing a quadriceps injury.

McMillan said "no timetable" exists for Oladipo's return, and he will be re-evaluated in a month.

"I'm just taking my time, my sweet time," Oladipo told reporters this week about his return to action. "I'm talking as slow as possible."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 25, 2019

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