Friday, July 20, 2018
Sports

No LeBron no good for Cavs

INDIANAPOLIS — The Pacers are more than familiar with facing the Cavaliers when LeBron James rests, so they didn't get distracted by the four-time NBA MVP's absence Wednesday night.

The Pacers beat the LeBron-less Cavs 103-92 to improve to 3-1 at home in the past two years when James sits.

"I found out when Coach (Nate McMillan) came in and said, 'LeBron's not playing,'" said Pacers point guard Jeff Teague, who had 20 points and eight assists. "I didn't know, but we needed a win. We weren't worried about who was playing or who was going to be on the floor, we were just going to go out and compete."

Thaddeus Young added 16 points to help the Pacers improve to 6-1 at home (6-6 overall).

James sat out for the first time this season. Averaging 23.4 points and 8.9 rebounds, he rested after playing Tuesday night in a home victory over Toronto. Guard J.R. Smith also missed the game because of a sprained right ankle.

"It doesn't matter about LeBron not playing," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "We just lost the game."

Kevin Love led Cleveland with 27 points and 16 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving had 24 points and seven assists. The Cavs dropped to 9-2 after matching the best start in franchise history with the victory over Toronto.

"We had our chances," Love said. "We cut the lead to four or five a couple times, and it just felt like we either had a bad possession, had a turnover, and then that lead went to eight or nine points, having to fight kind of uphill to claw back and try to win the game, and it was too little too late."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Serge Ibaka scored 16 and Nikola Vucevic broke out of his shooting slump with 10 points and 14 rebounds to help lift the host Magic to an 89-82 win over the Pelicans, who played without forward Anthony Davis (thigh injury). … Stephen Curry had 35 points, Kevin Durant added 30 and the visiting Warriors beat the Raptors 127-121 for their fifth straight victory. NBA scoring leader DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 34 points. … Russell Westbrook scored 30, including a left-handed hammer dunk over Clint Capela in the closing seconds, to help the host Thunder beat the Rockets 105-103. Oklahoma City led by three when the 6-foot-3 Westbrook dunked over the 6-foot-10 Capela with 5.5 seconds left to put the Thunder up five. … Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 35 and the host Knicks held off the Pistons 105-102. The 7-foot-3 forward from Latvia hit three 3-pointers and converted a dazzling three-point play in the first half after dunking a lob pass on the break.

Around the league: Center Dwight Howard missed the Hawks' home game against the Bucks because of a left quad contusion. Howard banged knees with Heat center Hassan Whiteside on Tuesday in a win at Miami. … Grizzlies forward/center Brandan Wright had arthroscopic surgery to clean up his left ankle, but the team said there is no timetable for his return.

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