|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)00:0019:00 ET5:00 PM CT22:00 , November 1, 2019
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana Attendance: 16,079
Pacers happy to be home to face Cavs
After snapping a three-game losing streak, the Indiana Pacers return home for the first time since opening night to face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
Indiana (1-3) concluded a three-game road swing on Wednesday, scoring its first win of the 2019-20 season, 118-108 at the Brooklyn Nets. The victory came with Pacers coach Nate McMillan employing a smaller lineup than through the first three games.
"The floor was a little bit more open," he said in his postgame press conference. "I hate to say it, but when we had the two bigs out there, sometimes it's a little congested."
"The two bigs" he was referring to are post players Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, breakout performers a season ago. Sabonis, Indiana's leading scorer at 22.8 points per game, scored 29 and registered a plus-26 at Brooklyn.
Turner played only 10 minutes, the result of an ankle sprain that will cause him to miss Friday's game. He is listed as week-to-week by the club.
Also, the Pacers have welcomed back Jeremy Lamb after he missed two games with a hip injury. The swingman Lamb scored 25 points Wednesday in his first game since opening night.
Cleveland (2-2), which contributed to Indiana's season-opening losing streak on Oct. 26, can expect a different lineup look from the Pacers compared to last week. The Cavaliers dominated that matchup for coach John Beilein's first career NBA win.
They added another on Wednesday by beating the Chicago Bulls 117-111. The win marked Cleveland's third consecutive game with an uptick in its scoring, from 85 in the opener to 110 vs. Indiana then 112 in a loss at the Milwaukee Bucks.
While Indiana faces lingering questions about a two-post lineup, Cleveland is finding success with it. Beilein came to the NBA with a lengthy, successful track record in the college ranks, employing a two-guard offense reliant on dual ball-handlers.
The Cavaliers have continued with that approach, starting second-year guard Collin Sexton and rookie Darius Garland. But veteran big men Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love are setting the pace.
Love is averaging 16 points and 16.8 rebounds per game, with a team-high five assists per game. Thompson is off to a career-best start at 20.3 points per game, well above his all-time high of 11.7 reached in 2013-14 and 2012-13. His 11.8 rebounds per game are also on a career-high pace.
"He has a great attitude about being a team leader," Beilein told Cleveland.com. "When you care so deeply about your team, you'll find some extras a lot of times to really grow yourself in that. The more you give to others, the more you are going to get."
Cleveland's interior presence frustrated Indiana the last time they met, particularly on the glass. The Cavaliers enjoyed a plus-8 rebounding margin, most importantly allowing the Pacers just six offensive rebounds.
Indiana sputtered offensively in that one from almost top to bottom, with one exception: guard Malcolm Brogdon.
The offseason acquisition from Milwaukee has been terrific through four games for the Pacers. His 30 points at Cleveland led Indiana, and he recorded a double-double with 10 assists.
In fact, Brogdon has a points-assists double-double in all four Pacers games, matching a franchise-best streak set by Vern Fleming.
"This was the bigger step for us, figuring out our identity," Brogdon told reporters following the win in Brooklyn.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 31, 2019