The Indiana Pacers will look to snap a season high-tying four-game losing skid on Wednesday when they conclude a four-game road trip against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Pacers, who also dropped four in a row from Feb. 3-10, saw their troublesome ways continue with a 130-114 setback to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Malcolm Brogdon said following his 20-point performance. “This is not a losing team or a losing culture, so this is not what we’re used to. But when you go on a losing streak or lose a couple, it’s all about winning one game. That’s what we’ve got to focus on in Cleveland.”
Tightening up on the defensive end should be a top priority for Indiana, which allowed Philadelphia to shoot 56.8 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.
“We’ve got to stop letting what happens on the offensive end impact on us on the defensive end. I think that’s kind of getting to us,” said Edmond Sumner, who scored a season-high 18 points. “We’re letting (those) runs kind of get out of hand. Mostly I think we’ve just got to lock in defensively and whatever happens offensively, just let it go and get back and get a stop.”
Domantas Sabonis, who averages 21.2 points and a team-high 11.3 rebounds, had his way with the Cavaliers in their last encounter. Sabonis made 10 of 14 shots from the floor and finished with 25 points and 11 boards in Indiana’s 119-99 win on New Year’s Eve.
Doug McDermott had a reason to smile by scoring 18 points off the bench in that contest, however he sustained a broken tooth on Monday while vying for a loose ball in the third quarter.
Jeremy Lamb sat out with a sore left knee, however coach Nate Bjorkgren said he expects the guard back in the lineup on Wednesday.
While the Pacers have been struggling, the Cavaliers have answered a disastrous 10-game losing skid by winning four in a row for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
Collin Sexton overcame a busted lip that required stitches at halftime to score 39 points in Cleveland’s 101-90 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday. Sexton is averaging 26.6 points over a nine-game stretch since enduring a career-low four-point performance in the Cavaliers’ 133-95 shellacking by the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 10.
“I knew I had to be better for my teammates. And now I’m starting to just play and not overthink the game,” said Sexton, who averages a team-best 23.8 points per game.
Sexton had 28 points while making 12 of 19 shots from the floor in the first meeting with Indiana.
“When (Sexton) plays this way, it makes everybody else’s job easier and he makes everybody else better because so much focus and attention goes to him. He is a weapon,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.
Jarrett Allen recorded 10 points and 15 rebounds on Monday for his eighth straight double-double, a run that began when he was named a starter in place of Andre Drummond.
–Field Level Media