Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Pacers come from behind, defeat Cavaliers 97-95

Pacers come from behind, defeat Cavaliers 97-95

James and his struggling Cavaliers absorbed their most-lopsided rout of the National Basketball Association season as they were overwhelmed by the Toronto Raptors 133-99 on Thursday night.

Fred VanVleet led the reserves' charge as he top scored for the team on the night with 22 points, six 3-pointers, four rebounds, and four assists.

However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week the Cavs aren't willing to include the Nets' pick in a deal for Jordan at this stage in the season.

Dating back to Christmas Day, the Cavaliers have lost six of their last eight games.

The Cavs scored the first four points of the final frame to move back in front, but the Pacers retook the lead a coupe minutes later, thanks to Stephenson. Lowry was sidelined with a bruised tailbone, Ibaka suspended one game by the league for fighting in Monday's loss to the Miami Heat.

The Raptors are now 2.5 games ahead of the Cavaliers at the midway point of the season. The 33-year-old is a triple-double threat on any given night, averaging 27.1 points, 8.8 assists, and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Jaylen Brown added 21 points, while Marcus Morris had 19 points and eight rebounds to help the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics extend their winning streak to seven games.

Like they have done all season, the youth of the Raptors came ready to play and it was a collective dominance.

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LeBron James was not a happy camper after losing back-to-back games by more than 25 points for the first time in his career. His play, coupled with an ineffective stint by Channing Frye, could quiet those who blame Thompson's return from a strained left calf as the main reason for the Cavs' struggles of late, as he replaced Frye in the rotation. They improved to 3-0 on the season against Cleveland. Cory Joseph's 2 points and 2 assists weren't too great either, but his defense is his calling card.

Since James returned to Cleveland in 2014, the Cavs have been through rough stretches, and James acknowledged that Thursday morning.

The Pacers took a one-point lead off a Lance Stephenson 3-pointer, but Stephenson wasn't done with his work.

In addition to Thompson, Cleveland holds two first-round picks that could be used in a big deal before the February 8 trade deadline - their own choice and the coveted Brooklyn pick acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade - and would be interested in landing Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, according to Charania.

Fast transitions, three-point shooting and rapidly switching on defence are hallmarks of a Golden State team that has gone to the NBA Finals three straight years and won the title twice. "We didn't really push, didn't really attack", Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said.

Asked what he meant by "agendas", Lue declined to elaborate, saying he meant "just what I said".

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