After a rocky start to the 2017-2018 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been on a roll, winning 13 straight games to re-establish themselves as the prohibitive favorite to win the Eastern Conference and make their fourth straight Finals appearance.
They put that streak on the line against the Pacers on Friday night in Indiana and got a rude reception from a home team that was eager to prove they can compete with any team in the East and did just that as they outlasted the Cavs, 106-102.
Victor Oladipo led the way with 33 points, eight rebounds, and five assists and knocked down a dagger three-pointer over Kevin Love with just over a minute remaining to put the Pacers up for good and put a halt to the Cavs’ win streak.
For Oladipo, it was a continuation of his resurgence this season after being treated as an afterthought in the trade from OKC that landed the Thunder Paul George.
Indiana was somehow able to withstand yet another MVP-caliber performance from LeBron James, who put in 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, a pair of blocks, and a steal, while shooting 12-of-22 for the night. Kevin Love also chipped in 20 points and seven rebounds in the loss, but was just 6-of-16 from the field, including 2-of-7 from downtown.