Cleveland’s road losing streak is the third-longest in NBA history behind Sacramento’s 43-game streak in the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons and New Jersey’s 34-game skid in the 1989-90 and 1990-91 campaigns.
The Cavaliers are 0-12 on the road this season.
Cleveland is coming off its 10th loss in 12 games overall, 105-98 to the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. The Cavaliers outrebounded their opponent for the second straight game but faltered in the final minutes.
Despite the loss, Cavs coach Paul Silas praised star rookie LeBron James, who scored a season-high 37 points.
“He’s figuring it out,” Silas said. “He’s attacking the hoop, making the contact and knocking down his free throws. Before, he wasn’t that comfortable going to the line. He put on a good show tonight.”
James drove to the basket without hesitation for the second straight game— going 16-of-18 from the line. He also missed a crucial 3-pointer and committed one of his two turnovers in the last two minutes.
“He’s a spectacular rookie,” said Boston swingman Paul Pierce, who stole the ball from James in the final seconds to seal the win. “I’ve never seen anything like him in my six years.”
Carlos Boozer had his sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and 15 rebounds Saturday. The 6-foot-9 forward scored a career-high 28 points in a 95-86 victory over Detroit on Thursday and is averaging 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest.
Cleveland already lost at Indiana this season, falling 91-90 on Nov. 7. The Cavaliers shot better than the Pacers from the field, from 3-point range and outrebounded them, but Ron Artest’s three-point play with 11 seconds left put Indiana on top.
Indiana will look to rebound from an 86-75 loss to the struggling Chicago Bulls on Saturday. The Pacers entered the game as the NBA’s best defensive team, allowing 83.5 points per game. The Bulls, surrendering 99.5, were the league’s worst.
Artest finished with 23 points and Jermaine O’Neal added 19 but missed all five of his second-half field-goal attempts, scoring just one point in that half. Chicago outscored Indiana 31-14 in the third quarter.
“When you give up 31 points in a quarter, you’re getting outworked,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “The third quarter was decisive. They took the game to us.”
The Pacers were outrebounded 53-39 and went 0-for-11 on 3-pointers.