Cleveland : 94 : : Indiana : 99 — April 9, 2013
The Pacers entered the fourth down by 20 points after having a terrible weekend that saw them lose by 22 at home to Oklahoma City and 19 to the Wizards in Washington. Once again, Indiana forgot how to basketball in any form in the second and third periods and Kyrie Irving showed them what’s up with his 29 points. Brian Shaw took over for Indiana coach Frank Vogel, who was tossed by the refs late in the third, and instantly became the front-runner for Coach of the Year because Indiana played like themselves for the first time in a while. The refs let them play physically for most of the quarter and that was huge for a defensive team like the Pacers. They forced turnovers (Irving had 8 of his team’s 17, including a charging call on their penultimate possession) and quickly turned those into buckets.
George Hill was fantastic in the fourth (27 points, 4 assists and 4 steals on the night), driving with a purpose and finding Paul George for the dagger three that sealed this game. I guess he got so open because of the threat of Hill driving, but even then, Hill shouldn’t be drawing three defenders if that means no one guards a great shooter in the corner. You can see Irving sort of strutting around on that play, because he’s not much of a defender and he was just so frustrated that whole last quarter. Hopefully he directs some of that at himself though. Cleveland coach Byron Scott knows that feel, bro.