Once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers looked on their way to a sure victory. A 20-point lead going into the fourth quarter is a lock, right? NOT FOR THIS TEAM. The Cavs were outscored 35-10 in the final period and lost to the Pacers, 99-94.
"I think going into the fourth quarter they decided to put their head down and drive into everything. We didn't do a good job of getting back and then we put them on the free throw line 46 times as well. 33 points in transition and 32 points on the free throw line, they got 99. Defensively, we did a real good job. We had the get up in a half-court offense but the transition [defense] was a joke."
Byron was asked if the team let up after they built a big lead. And of course, he said that they did. Because they always do.
"It seems like it. You would think after three times we'd learn, after two times really. But obviously we didn't."
"It came down to effort, we had a 20 point lead with nine minutes to go and then they started to make their run. We all have to take responsibility as a team, we all took our foot off of the gas. You can't do that especially against a playoff team like these guys. You'll lose a game like that."
Let me guess, the Cavs were playing not to lose instead of playing to win?
"33 transition points, when you give up that many you're not going to win anything, when a team scores one third of their points off of transition. We just did not stay aggressive. We played not to lose instead of playing to win."
"I'd say it came down to effort, whether the shots we take are a make or a miss everybody has to do a better job of hustling back on defense. Those guys, George Hill, Paul George, Lance Stephenson were starting to pick up their effort. But it was their fast breaks. We were not getting any stops, we were not doing a good enough job of providing help on the strong side."
The Pacers' head coach got ejected, but his ejection seemed to give the Pacers' players some energy. Maybe Byron Scott should try that some time.
"I'm proud of our team for their resolve in coming back. We've been in situations up 20 with a lot of time left and coaches try to change the game. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work. We went with our bench and I overreacted to some calls. Sometimes you've got to change the game. The way it was going, it wasn't going very well. You are struggling to find answers."