An easy New Year’s Resolution for the Cleveland Cavaliers: get back to winning games.
On Thursday, on the final day of 2020, the Cavs lost to the Indiana Pacers 119-99. For Cleveland, Thursday’s game also marked the start of a six-game, 13-day road trip that will take them to Atlanta, Orlando, Memphis, and Milwaukee.
Cleveland’s struggles started when it was outscored in the first quarter 32-21, with Indiana shooting 60% from the field vs. Cleveland’s 30.8%. For the game, the Cavs were outshot 48.3% to 45.1%.
Another major problem for Cleveland: losing the battle in the paint. A key part of the Cavs’ offensive philosophy this year is getting easy buckets in the paint and maximizing the team’s many bigs. Against the Domantas Sabonis-Myles Turner starting frontcourt, they were outscored in the paint this season 48-46. Andre Drummond and Larry Nance Jr. finished a combined 8-20 from the field with Drummond finishing 4-11 on two-point field goals in his 25 minutes.
The Pacers also took 35 three-pointers, making 16, compared to the Cavs taking 23 and making 12.
Collin Sexton led all scorers with 28 points on 12-18 shooting, while Darius Garland had 21 points, including a career-high five three-pointers. Drummond finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds for his fifth-straight double-double to start the season.
Up next: The Cavs are off tomorrow before playing the Hawks in Atlanta on Saturday. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.