Pacers 89, Cavaliers 74

Cliff Brunt, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


INDIANAPOLIS -- Lance Stephenson matched a career high with 22 points to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-74 on Saturday night.
Paul George had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Roy Hibbert added 11 points for the Pacers, who improved to 3-0.
Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 17 points, but he made just 7 of 21 shots from the field and was held to two points in the second half. Kyrie Irving scored 15 points and Anderson Varejao added 14 for the Cavaliers (1-2).
The Pacers held the Cavaliers to 35 percent shooting from the field.
Indiana led 43-37 at halftime after the Cavaliers shot 31 percent from the floor in the first half.
The Pacers started the second half with a flourish. George drained a 3-pointer and then Hibbert scored in close to extend Indiana's lead to 11 points.
Cleveland hung tough with a 6-0 run to close the deficit to five.
Indiana began stretching its lead again later in the quarter. George rattled in a 3-pointer from the left corner that gave the Pacers a 57-45 lead. Another 3-pointer by George pushed Indiana's lead to 62-49 with a minute left in the quarter.
Cleveland finished the quarter with a 6-0 run to cut its deficit to 62-55. George scored 13 points in the quarter.
Stephenson picked up where George left off, scoring 10 points in the first 4:14 of the fourth quarter to extend Indiana's lead to 79-61.
NOTES: No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett missed all eight of his shots from the field in his first two games for Cleveland and scored two only points in 28 minutes. ... Pacers G George Hill sat out because of a sore left hip. C.J. Watson got his first start as a Pacer in his place. ... Pacers F Danny Granger missed his third straight game because of a strained left calf. ... George entered the game as the NBA's leading scorer at 28 points per game. Hibbert entered as the league leader with 12 blocked shots in two games. ... Irving made only 11-of-33 shots from the field in his first two games.