After splitting the first two games of their road trip, the Pacers head to Cleveland(Cleveland Cavaliers championship rings) to face the struggling Cavaliers, who have lost their last nine games. In Toronto on Sunday, the Pacers were without defensive anchor Myles Turner, who missed the game with a sore right shoulder. Indiana (26-13) struggled in his absence, allowing the East-leading Raptors to score 121 points — only the third time a Pacers opponent has surpassed 120 points this season.
The loss snapped what had been a six-game winning streak for the Pacers, but Indiana has still collected wins in 13 of its last 16 games, making them one of the NBA's(nba championship rings) hottest teams. But in order to keep their winning ways intact, they'll have to avenge one of their toughest losses of the season, a 92-91 buzzer-beating loss to the Cavaliers in mid-december. Since that game, which was won by a tip-in from Larry Nance Jr., the Cavaliers (8-32) have been winless, dropping nine games in a row as they enter Tuesday's matchup.
Cleveland's season has been marred by injuries, but has cleared the way for young players to take on bigger roles. Rookie Collin Sexton has impressed, scoring 14.7 points per game while passing out 2.7 assists. With or without Turner — who is listed as questionable — the Pacers will have to take care of business against the stumbling Cavaliers, as a matchup with the Celtics awaits Indiana on Wednesday night to close out their back-to-back(cheap championship rings).
Pacers: Myles Turner - questionable (sore right shoulder), Darren Collison - questionable (sore right leg), Cory Joseph - questionable (right thigh bruise)
Raptors: Matthew Dellavedova - out (left foot sprain), John Henson - out (left wrist surgery), Kevin Love - out (left foot surgery), David Nwaba - out (left ankle sprain), JR Smith - out (personal), Ante Zizic - out (right knee soreness), Rodney Hood - questionable (left Achilles tendon soreness)
December 18, 2018: In one of their toughest losses of the season, the Pacers fell 92-91 to the Cavaliers thanks to a buzzer-beating tip from forward Larry Nance Jr.
Indiana led for the majority of the fourth quarter, but after two missed free throws from Victor Oladipo with 9 seconds remaining, a shot that rimmed out from Rodney Hood was tipped back in by Nance Jr.
"I don't think we came with the necessary energy to win this game," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "We weren't connected out there."
The Pacers struggled from the field all night, making just 4-of-22 3-point shots and connecting on 13-of-21 free throws.
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