� Pacers ride big third past stumbling Cavaliers | Inquirer Sports

Pacers ride big third past stumbling Cavaliers

/ 03:55 PM May 11, 2021

Indiana Pacers NBA

FILE — Malcolm Brogdon #7 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates with T.J. McConnell #9 during the 122-116 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Kelan Martin scored a career-high 25 points off the bench to lead the short-handed Indiana Pacers to a 111-102 victory over the host Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

Indiana (32-36) moved back into ninth place in the Eastern Conference and a half-game ahead of the Washington Wizards as the teams vie for home court advantage in a potential play-in tournament matchup between them.

The Pacers also moved three games ahead of the idle Chicago Bulls with four games to play as they moved closer to clinching a berth in the play-in round.

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The Cavaliers (21-48) suffered their NBA-worst 11th consecutive loss despite Collin Sexton’s 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds. But 19 of Sexton’s points came in the first half as Indiana took the lead for good after outscoring the Cavaliers 26-17 in the third quarter.

Martin shot 11-for-16 from the field including 3-for-4 from 3-point range and collected seven rebounds as the Pacers, who were again without Malcolm Brogdon (sore hamstring), Jeremy Lamb (sore knee) and JaKarr Sampson (concussion) picked up 47 points from their bench.

Domantas Sabonis came up just short of his ninth triple-double of the season by finishing with 21 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists as well as four blocks. Caris LeVert totaled 20 points and 10 assists.

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Martin’s layup with 1:44 to go in the fourth put the Pacers ahead 105-95, giving them enough of a cushion to hang on for the win.

T.J. McConnell, who had 10 points, also came up with a key score in transition with 42.3 seconds left to keep it a two-or-more possession game down the stretch.

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Doug McDermott added 13 points and Justin Holiday had 11 points.

Isaac Okoro (22 points and 10 rebounds) and Dean Wade (19 points and 12 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles for the Cavaliers.

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Jarrett Allen finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.

The Cavaliers had only nine players available as Kevin Love sat out as part of his injury management of a right calf strain and Darius Garland missed his sixth game in a row with a left ankle sprain.

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TAGS: Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers

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