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Preview: Cavaliers (27-18) at Pacers (24-22)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: January 12, 2018 7:00 PM EDT

The Indiana Pacers are either catching the Cleveland Cavaliers at the right time or the worst time.


After being blown out by host Minnesota by 28 points on Monday night, the Cavaliers suffered their most lopsided loss of the season, 133-99, at Toronto Thursday night.

The Cavaliers (26-15) will play the second of back-to-back games Friday night at Indiana (21-20).

The Pacers won the first two meetings, 124-107, on Nov. 1 in Cleveland and 106-102 at Indiana on Dec. 8. The second victory snapped Cleveland's 13-game winning streak.

So the Cavs could be an angry team seeking revenge or a tired team reeling after losing for the seventh time in 10 games.

"We're a veteran team and we know what we're capable of, and it can't be so easy for us to get in those lulls and not try to dig ourselves out of them," Cavaliers forward Kevin Love told ESPN prior to the Toronto loss. "So we got to be better."

Defense has been a huge issue.

"We haven't been able to stop (teams) as of late," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue told ESPN after the Minnesota loss. "One-on-one, off the dribble, pick-and-roll has been Achilles' heel and transition."

Before the game, LeBron James told ESPN, "This is just us during the regular season. This is just us. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times."

Despite the Cavs' recent shooting woes (38.2 percent vs. Toronto), Pacers coach Nate McMillan said defense will be crucial.

"You have to keep this team in front of you," McMillan said. "You have to get out to their 3-point shooters. You have to finish with rebounding. They do it all. They attack the basket. They create mismatch problems. They're a big, physical team. So we're going to have to defend the paint, rebound the ball and see if we can establish the tempo."

After winning two in a row at home by convincing margins over Chicago and Milwaukee, the Pacers lost 114-106 to visiting Miami on Wednesday night.

Pacers center Myles Turner (elbow) missed the contest against Miami and will be sidelined again versus Cleveland.

"We were missing Myles and we're definitely a much better team when we have everybody in uniform," McMillan said. "Our guys have shown they have some potential. but we have a lot of growth that we have to continue to see, making plays and really learning how to win in situations like (Wednesday night)."

It certainly doesn't help that the Pacers were 1-of-18 from 3-point range in the Miami loss.

"Nights like that happen all the time in the NBA," Indiana guard Victor Oladipo said. "We just have to keep shooting the ball with confidence. We have great shooters, but there will be nights like this."

Pacers point guard Darren Collison said ball movement will be key Friday.

"When we don't move the ball we're not a good team," Collison said. "When we move the ball we're a great team."

With Turner out, veteran Al Jefferson played 17 minutes against Miami and will likely do so again against Cleveland. Jefferson has played in just 14 games this season and Wednesday was his first appearance since Dec. 31.

"No matter how much you play pick-up, run on the treadmill, it's a totally different ball game in there live," Jefferson said. "I knew the first game was going to be about trying to get my legs under me and my rhythm going, but actually it was better than I thought it was going to be."

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 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 CLE  -125   -1.5   221 
 IND  +105   +1.5   

 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 CLE  -135   -2   221.5 
 IND  +115   +2   

 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 CLE  66%   64%   53% 
 IND  34%   36%   47% 
Betting Trends by

 Dec 8, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 CLE 102 Under: 208 
 IND « 106 Cover: 7.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 1, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 IND « 124 Cover: 27 
 CLE 107 Over: 231 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Oct 6, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 IND « 106 Cover: 8.5 
 CLE 102 Over: 208 
 Apr 23, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 CLE « 106 Under: 208 
 IND 102 Cover: 0 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 20, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 CLE « 119 Cover: 3.5 
 IND 114 Over: 233 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 17, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 IND 111 Cover: 3 
 CLE « 117 Over: 228 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 15, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 IND 108 Cover: 8 
 CLE « 109 Over: 217 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 2, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 IND 130 Cover: 3 
 CLE « 135 Over: 265 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 15, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 IND 104 Under: 217 
 CLE « 113 Cover: 3 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 8, 2017  Score  ATS Results 
 CLE « 132 Cover: 11.5 
 IND 117 Over: 249 
 Tools:   Recaps

 Friday, Jan 12
  •  Magic at Wizards
7:05 PM EDT
  •  Cavaliers at Pacers
7:05 PM EDT
  •  Jazz at Hornets
7:05 PM EDT
  •  Nets at Hawks
7:35 PM EDT
  •  Trail Blazers at Pelicans
8:05 PM EDT
  •  Warriors at Bucks
8:05 PM EDT
  •  Knicks at Timberwolves
8:05 PM EDT
  •  Grizzlies at Nuggets
9:05 PM EDT
  •  Rockets at Suns
10:35 PM EDT
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