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Cleveland at Indiana

Pacers top Cavs, clinch playoff berth

CBSSports.com wire reports
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Darren Collison might want to get well soon.

While he has been recovering from a sore groin, backup point guard George Hill has proven capable as a starter. Hill had 15 points and seven assists to help the Indiana Pacers clinch a playoff spot by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-83 Friday night.

Indiana has won all three games Hill has started. He has averaged 16.7 points and 5.3 assists in a win over Toronto and two victories over Cleveland.

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Hill scored 10 points in the second quarter on Friday, helping the Pacers rally from a 14-point deficit. He played as more of a pure point guard in the third quarter with no points, four assists and no turnovers.

"Sometimes, it might not be your time to take the shots and be aggressive," Hill said. "In the second quarter, even playing with D.G. [Danny Granger] out there, he saw that I had the mismatch at the time and I had it going a little bit and we were running a lot of things for me, and then in the third quarter, we had D.G. and David West going."

Granger scored 18 points, Tyler Hansbrough scored 16 points, Leandro Barbosa scored 13 points and Roy Hibbert added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who have won seven of eight.

Indiana (37-22) matched its win total from last season. The Pacers are in third place in the Eastern Conference standings and are trying to clinch homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"We haven't accomplished anything yet," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "Nothing has changed for us. We felt for a while we would be in the playoffs, but until we get home-court advantage, there is work to be done."

Omri Casspi matched a season high with 14 points and Samardo Samuels had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Cleveland shot just 35 percent from the field.

"The second half, we had a lot of open shots and we didn't convert on then," Antawn Jamison, who scored 12 points for the Cavaliers, said. "We had too many turnovers. We weren't aggressive enough in the second half. We did a bad job of playing 48 minutes."

The Pacers, best known for their defense, scored more than 100 points for the eighth time in nine games. Indiana won the season series 3-1.

Indiana trailed 36-23 in the second quarter, but Hill scored five points during a 9-0 run to tighten the game. Cleveland led 43-41 at halftime.

"They have a bunch of guys, D-League players, playing for contracts," Hibbert said. "They played hard. We took the punch and then we gave it back to them."

A basket by Hibbert tied the game at 43 less than a minute into the third quarter, and a basket by David West gave Indiana a 45-43 lead. A dunk by Granger gave Indiana a 53-45 edge. Cleveland made just 1 of its first 11 shots in the second half before calling a timeout.

It didn't help. A dunk by Dahntay Jones increased Indiana's lead to 66-50, and the Pacers led 75-56 at the end of the quarter. Indiana outscored Cleveland 34-13 in the period as the Cavaliers shot 3 for 18.

"I challenged my guys to ramp up their defense because we've had some poor halves the last couple games," Vogel said. "They defended at a high level tonight. Offensively, we struggled in the first half, but we said all year offense will come and go, but defense will carry us."

Indiana led by at least 13 points the entire fourth quarter.

"Even though we might not have a good quarter or good half, we still think we have a great enough team to come back in and finish off strong," Hill said. "You're going to have your up and down games and up and down quarters. We've just got to keep pounding that rock and believing in each other."

The solid second half put the Pacers on track to reach their goal. Indiana remained two games ahead of Atlanta for the No. 3 position in the East.

"Nothing against Cleveland, but we're getting ready for something bigger," Hibbert said. "You have to come out better, but we finished the right way."

Notes

  • Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture), Daniel Gibson (torn tendon, left foot/ankle), Kyrie Irving (contused/sprained right shoulder) and Semih Erden (right ankle sprain) missed the game for the Cavaliers.
  • Cleveland and Indiana shot a combined 12-for-44 from the field in the first quarter.
  • A double technical foul was called on Cleveland's Tristan Thompson and Indiana's West early in the third quarter.
  • Indiana's Paul George missed all six of his shots.
  • Indiana's newest free agent pickup, Kyrylo Fesenko, got his first minutes as a Pacer. The 7-foot-1, 290-pound center from the Ukraine finished with two points and three rebounds in seven minutes.
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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Dahntay Jones drives to the basket during the Pacers' playoff-clinching victory over the Cavaliers. (US Presswire)
Dahntay Jones drives to the basket during the Pacers' playoff-clinching victory over the Cavaliers. (US Presswire)

Scoreboard
Cleveland (19-38)1924132783
Indiana (37-22) «16253427102
CLE:O. Casspi 14 Pts
CLE:S. Samuels 10 Reb
CLE:D. Sloan 5 Ast
IND:D. Granger 18 Pts
IND:R. Hibbert 10 Reb
IND:G. Hill 7 Ast
Players of the Game
ClevelandIndiana

Samardo Samuels

George Hill
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
101021547
Cleveland
D. Sloan, PG315-92-245212
A. Gee, SF262-120-04114
A. Jamison, PF245-121-240412
T. Thompson, PF191-31-22143
A. Parker, SG183-60-05117
S. Samuels, C292-76-6102610
M. Harris, PG270-56-63336
L. Walton, SF243-70-03158
O. Casspi, SF225-122-251114
L. Hudson, SG192-62-23127
A. Varejao, CDid Not Play
D. Gibson, PGDid Not Play
S. Erden, CDid Not Play
L. Harangody, PFDid Not Play
K. Irving, PGDid Not Play
Totals 28-7920-2243162983
 35.4%90.9% 
Indiana
D. Granger, SF277-153-343218
G. Hill, PG264-115-547215
R. Hibbert, C256-100-0102012
D. West, PF224-72-261310
P. George, SG210-60-01130
L. Barbosa, SG245-80-024213
T. Hansbrough, PF234-108-810316
D. Jones, SG221-61-21303
A. Price, PG222-80-04204
L. Amundson, PF163-50-09066
K. Fesenko, C70-12-43012
J. Pendergraph, PF31-11-22003
L. Stephenson, SG30-20-01000
D. Collison, PGDid Not Play
Totals 37-9022-26482322102
 41.1%84.6% 
Other Games
Atl 109 Final
Orl 81
NJ 95 Final
Phi 89
Bos 79 Final
Tor 84
Char 82 Final
Mia 105
Wash 65 Final
NY 103
Utah 85 Final
NO 96
Mil 113 Final
Det 97
Pho 112 Final
Hou 105
Sac 89 Final
OKC 115
Den 97 Final
LAL 103
Dal 97 Final
Port 94