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Indiana at Cleveland

LeBron, Varejao lead huge fourth-quarter rally for Cavs

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James got plenty of help on offense, then sealed the victory with a spectacular play on defense.

James scored 27 points, Anderson Varejao added 10 of his career-high 18 in the fourth quarter, and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers 111-107 on Friday night.

Mo Williams, a key offseason acquisition from Milwaukee, finished with 21 points for Cleveland, which trailed throughout most of the first three periods, then scored 40 points in the fourth quarter.

Danny Granger tied his season high with 33 points for Indiana. He scored 21 in the first half.

With Cleveland hanging on to a 111-107 lead, the Cavaliers committed a turnover, but James came from behind to block T.J. Ford bid for a layup on a fast break with 40 seconds to play.

"I do not give up on plays," James said. "If they make it, it's a two-point game. I was able to chase it down and get it before it got on the backboard."

The fact James was able to chase down Ford, one of the quickest players in the league, made the play even more phenomenal.

"I don't even know where he started from," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "That's what we call a winning play."

Indiana coach Jim O'Brien was displeased with the disparity at the free throw line. The Cavaliers went to the line 28 times, making 24, while the Pacers were 11-of-11.

"I just shake my head," O'Brien said. "Incredible, absolutely incredible. I can't believe that. To take it to the basket as hard as we do and cut as hard as we do, and to get only 11 foul shots. I'm just completely dumbfounded."

Varejao gave Cleveland the boost it needed for its third straight win. Known more for his rebounding and defensive ability, the reserve forward scored seven straight points early in the fourth quarter.

"When the ball comes to him, he's ready for it," James said. "He made some great plays, got some dunks and some layups."

The Pacers led 79-72 early in the fourth, but Varejao scored seven straight points. Wally Szczerbiak hit a 3-pointer and James hit a jump shot to tie the game at 84 with 8:59 left.

Ford made two free throws, but Varejao scored on a layup off James' assist, was fouled and made the free throw, giving the Cavaliers an 87-86 lead with 8:27 left.

Ford's jump shot 8 seconds later gave the Pacers their last lead. Williams hit two free throws with 8:10 remaining, giving Cleveland an 89-88 lead. Delonte West's 3-pointer and James' layup pushed the lead to 94-88.

The Pacers cut it to 95-93, but Williams hit a 3-pointer with 4:48 left. Cleveland built a 104-95 lead, but Indiana cut it to 108-104 with two minutes to play.

James, who was coming off a season-high 41 points against Chicago on Wednesday, had a rocky first half, scoring seven points on 3-of-9 shooting. He also missed three of his four foul shots.

Indiana made six of its first seven shots and led 29-20 after one quarter. Granger scored 16 points, shooting 7-of-10, including two 3-pointers. The Pacers made 13 of 24 shots in the period.

Granger made 13 of 21 shots from the field, including 5-of-10 on 3-pointers.

"Each team made runs and the game went back and forth," he said. "They pulled it out to nine and we got it back close, but it turned out to be too much to overcome."

Granger's performance impressed James.

"He's become a go-to guy," James said. "He's started to grow and play the game with more confidence. He's a very good player. He's become one of the best small forwards in our league."

Pacers rookie center Roy Hibbert had 11 points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes, but fouled out with 9:08 to play. Marquis Daniels added 17.

The Cavaliers have won 11 of the last 12 against Indiana, including eight straight. The Pacers' last win came on Nov. 24, 2006. Indiana hasn't won in Cleveland since 2004.

Notes

  • The Pacers were coming off a 113-103 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday in which Suns forward Amare Stoudemire scored 49 points.
  • Both teams play Saturday night. Cleveland has a rematch against the Bulls in Chicago while Indiana hosts New Jersey.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Mo Williams is feeling the groove in Cleveland. He gets into the winning act with 21 points. (Getty Images)
Mo Williams is feeling the groove in Cleveland. He gets into the winning act with 21 points. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Indiana (1-3) 29192633107
Cleveland (4-2) «20232840111
IND:D. Granger 33 Pts
IND:M. Daniels 11 Reb
IND:M. Daniels 7 Ast
CLE:L. James 27 Pts
CLE:L. James 9 Reb
CLE:L. James 8 Ast
Players of the Game
ClevelandIndiana

L. James

D. Granger
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
27983332

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Indiana
M. Daniels, SG377-183-3117317
D. Granger, SF3613-212-232333
J. Foster, C313-51-12327
T. Ford, PG315-132-245513
T. Murphy, C303-50-09126
J. Jack, PG243-70-03627
B. Rush, SG223-90-01027
R. Hibbert, C194-93-392611
T. Diener, PG102-30-02206
M. Baston, SFDid Not Play
R. Nesterovic, CDid Not Play
J. Tinsley, PGDid Not Play
M. Dunleavy, SGDid Not Play
S. Graham, SFDid Not Play
J. McRoberts, PFDid Not Play
Totals 43-9011-11442825107
 47.8%100.0% 
Cleveland
L. James, SF3911-244-798227
M. Williams, PG376-147-734421
D. West, SG355-80-041212
Z. Ilgauskas, C295-97-841317
B. Wallace, C190-10-00110
A. Varejao, C308-122-281418
W. Szczerbiak, SF263-44-411011
D. Gibson, PG192-50-01435
S. Pavlovic, SG50-00-00100
E. Snow, PGDid Not Play
L. Wright, CDid Not Play
J. Williams, FDid Not Play
T. Kinsey, SFDid Not Play
J. Hickson, PFDid Not Play
D. Jackson, PFDid Not Play
Totals 40-7724-28302219111
 51.9%85.7% 
Other Games
NY 114 Final
Wash 108
NO 89 Final
Char 92
Tor 92 Final
Atl 110
Mil 89 Final
Bos 101
Det 96 Final
NJ 103
Mia 99 Final
SA 83
Pho 83 Final
Chi 100
OKC 97 Final
Utah 104
Min 109 Final
Sac 121
Dal 105 Final
Den 108
Mem 109 Final
GS 104
Hou 92 Final
LAC 83