Game 6: Cleveland Cavaliers 87-121 Indiana Pacers - 5 Talking Points
There will be a Game 7 back in Cleveland on Sunday.
A spirited Game 6 performance by Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers ensured a huge 34-point home win at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, keeping their season alive in the process. The 34 points were the second-largest margin of victory in franchise history for the Pacers, the largest since 1994.
Meanwhile, for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was a loss of record proportions. For James, it was his third-worst postseason loss which forces him to play his first career Round 1 Game 7. With their season on the line, it was a different Pacers team that showed up for their elimination game at home.
There were a lot of factors that played into the team's blowout win. We take a look out at the 5 biggest takeaways from the game:
#5 Cavaliers' role players start well but struggle again
The performance of the Cavaliers' role players has been a talking point for every game of this series. However, unlike the previous time, they actually had it going early. At one point in the first quarter, with four minutes left, Cleveland was leading 22-17 on the back of six made 3-pointers [LeBron -1; Kevin Love - 1; Kyle Korver - 2; JR Smith -2].
Since that point, JR Smith had only more three-pointer all game, Korver didn't score again and Love only added four more points to his tally. Until JR's next 3-pointer, with 6:38 left in the third quarter, Cleveland had missed 11 straight from beyond the arc. So they started well but things fell apart for the other starters and the bench followed suit.
Jeff Green had 13 points off the bench but all in garbage time. Jordan Clarkson had 5 points on 2-of-8 shooting in 24 minutes of play.
Add to all of this, Love, the team's second All-Star was non-existent again. He took an elbow to the face in the third quarter, which left him out of his senses for a while and pretty much a non-factor since but even before that, it wasn't like he was contributing a lot. He finished the game with 7 points on 3-of-10 shooting.