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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers Game 4 Recap: Bring Out the Brooms
- Updated: April 23, 2017
(Indianapolis, IN) – In a playoff contest that came down to the wire at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers held on for a 106-102 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 of the first round on Sunday afternoon as they completed their four-game sweep.
“Offensively, we weren’t that good,” Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said during his postgame press conference. “We didn’t play with the same spunk or pace.”
After the Cavs had opened the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead, the Pacers clawed their way back into the game and took the lead with 1:31 left in regulation when Indiana power forward Thaddeus Young tipped in a shot for a 102-100 advantage.
The Pacer lead lasted only one possession, as Cavs superstar small forward LeBron James drained what would be the game-winning 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with just 1:07 remaining.
After Cavs star point guard Kyrie Irving nabbed an offensive rebound and Kyle Korver swished two crucial free throws to give Cleveland a 105-102 lead, Pacers star small forward Paul George (15 points on just 5-of-21 shooting) missed a potential game-tying three in the closing seconds that would have forced overtime.
“That’s a tough team. We knew that coming into the series. They had the Coach of the Month and they had the Player of the Month, so we knew we had something to deal with,” James said immediately after Game 4. “But we’re locked in. We’re locked in to our schemes and our coaching staff gave us a great plan to go into every game. We just tried to execute it.”
James finished with a monster stat line of 33 points (13-of-25 from the field), 10 rebounds, an impressive four steals, four assists and two blocked shots in 45 minutes of action. In the process, James also became the first player under the current playoff format to win 21 straight first-round games and set an NBA record with his 10th career playoff series sweep, surpassing the legendary 1980’s Los Angeles Lakers trio of Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Michael Cooper.
Irving finished with 28 points and three blocked shots on the afternoon, with 16 of those points coming in the third quarter alone, while backup point guard Deron Williams added 14 points of his own off the bench.
“I forgot what it was like to win a series. It’s been so long,” Irving said. “Credit to the Indiana Pacers for testing us to the last few seconds. It was an incredible series, great learning experience for us as a team and as a group, we grew.”
As a team, the Cavs were only able to record 11 assists compared to the 21 of the Pacers, but Cleveland was very good from the charity stripe and made 23-of-27 attempts while Indiana only shot 10-of-17 from the free-throw line.
For the Pacers, shooting guard Lance Stephenson led the way with 22 points, six boards and three assists off the bench, while center Myles Turner had 20 points and nine boards. Point guard Jeff Teague finished with 15 points and a game-high 10 assists, while Young had 13 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
With the loss, the Pacers were swept in the playoffs for the first time in the franchise’s 50-year history. Since James returned to Cleveland in 2014, the Cavs are now a staggering 28-4 in Eastern Conference playoff games.
Up next, the Cavs will await the winner of the first-round series between the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks, which is currently tied at two games apiece heading into Monday night’s Game 5 contest at Air Canada Centre.