And just like that, the Cavaliers need to win a Game 7 to advance out of the first round.
In Friday’s Game 6 against the Pacers, the Cavs lost by a final score of 121-87 in a game that was never entirely that close. Cleveland trailed by 10 points at halftime, 25 points heading into the fourth quarter and punted the game with LeBron James sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
The Cavs’ Game 6 loss comes after James was dominant in their Game 5 win and hit a game-winner. In this game, the Cavs were never that close.
James finished with 22 points. Kevin Love finished with seven points on 3-10 shooting as he continues to struggle. Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 25 points.
Up next: The Cavs and Pacers will play Game 7 Sunday in Cleveland. Tipoff will be at either 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. depending on the results of tonight’s Jazz-Thunder game.
Pacers 92, Cavaliers 67
This one is over — an absolute bludgeoning. Led by Oladipo, the Pacers ripped through the Cavs for the entire third quarter with nothing for the Cavs working. There is absolutely no reason for LeBron James or any player of note to play in this game the rest of the way.
Pacers 57, Cavaliers 47
All credit to the Pacers handled the first half. Oladipo continues to play at a high level and the Cavs just played one of their worst defense stretches of the series. Kevin Love continues to not play all that well. And LeBron James isn’t playing just at the level he was in Game 5. Right now, it feels like the Cavs are going to need to win a Game 7 on Sunday.
Pacers 29, Cavaliers 26 after one.
Victor Oladipo scoring 15 points, and playing as well as he has since Game 2, is big for Indiana and a major reason why the Cavs made six three-pointers and still trailed after one. The game also seems to be going at a higher pace, something that seems to have helped Oladipo. And with how Jose Calderon looked early, it’s pretty clear the Cavs miss George Hill. LeBron James also was not superhuman like he was in Game 5.
This is it, perhaps later than the Cavs thought it would be. But tonight, in Game 6, Cleveland has a chance to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse figures to be riled up, as it’s always a hostile environment. And with the Pacers fighting for their season, the Cavs are going to get a test. It would help especially if someone other than LeBron James — looking at you, Kevin Love — steps up for the Cavs. It would help of George Hill is able to play too.
Here’s all of the info you need to watch. And stay tuned here, as this post will feature live updates during the game.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers
When: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT, Fox Sports Ohio
Cavaliers status updates: George Hill (Back spasms - Questionable)
Radio: WTAM 1100, La Mega 87.7 (Cleveland)