Monday, April 23, 2018
Sports

Cavs blow 22-point lead, drop 3rd in a row

INDIANAPOLIS — Lance Stephenson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Darren Collison scored 22 and the Pacers rallied from a 22-point, first-half deficit to beat the Cavaliers 97-95 Friday night.

The Pacers have won three of four and improved to 3-0 against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions.

LeBron James tried to prevent Cleveland from losing its third straight, finishing with 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, while teammate Kevin Love had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

But James had two chances in the final seconds to win it and missed both opportunities — after Victor Oladipo gave Indiana the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 2:09 left.

First, the four-time MVP stepped out of bounds with 1.7 seconds to go, a play that was confirmed on replay review. Then, after Collison made a free throw to give the Pacers a 97-95 lead, James’ desperation 3 bounced high off the rim at the buzzer.

"There’s a lot of fans coming out to support (James), so I just wanted to get their fans mad," Stephenson said.

James also was baited into a technical foul by Stephenson with 7:53 left. A replay review showed James shoving Stephenson in the chest, though TV replays showed Stephenson driving his thumb into James’ side.

"Lance is just a little dirty, that’s all," James said. "I should have known. I’ve known since school it’s not the guy who tells the joke that gets caught, it’s the guy who laughs."

Game Highlights: Former Gator Bradley Beal and John Wall each scored 30 as the host Wizards snapped a two-game losing streak with a 125-119 victory over the Magic. … Kevin Durant scored 26, Draymond Green added 21 and the visiting Warriors used a 13-4 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Bucks 108-94. … Karl-Anthony Towns fell one assist shy of his second career triple double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in the host Timberwolves’ 118-108 victory over the Knicks.

Around the League: Warriors guard Stephen Curry did not play against the Bucks, the second straight game he has missed with a right ankle injury. … Heat guard Dion Waiters decided to have surgery to repair his left ankle and will miss the rest of the season. … Jazz guard Rodney Hood was fined $35,000 for slapping a phone out of a fan’s hand as Hood left the court Wednesday following his second technical against the Wizards.

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