This time, he even got into LeBron James' head.
Despite LeBron James finishing with 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, the Cavaliers still lost for the third time in-a-row.
James also was baited into a technical foul by Stephenson with 7:53 left in the game. This component of the game played a crucial role for Cleveland but in a negative way.
"When Steph is on the floor, everything's chaotic in a good way", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game Friday.
IN ranks 14th in assists per game (22.7) while Cleveland ranks last in assists allowed per game (25.8). With 26 points on 9-for-20 shooting, Victor Oladipo was the top scorer from either team. I just like playing ball the right way, getting guys involved and winning the game also. It was interesting because IN had a poor period regarding scoring efficiency, but their production from the free throw line played a key role IN being the difference. "That's all. He's a little dirty. He's a little dirty", James said.
"They're still a good team, they still play hard, the young guys play hard", Lue said in pregame. "So they caught me on the retaliation, so - but he played well tonight". "He played well, though". Meanwhile, their defense was arguably better. Although they have yet to master it like Golden State, Toronto's 29-11 record is a franchise best at the 40-game mark of a season. IN shut out the Cavs over the final 3:57 and twice stopped James when he could have given the Cavs the lead. (13), Bryce Maximus (10), and Zhuri (3). The Pacers cut a bit of the lead in the second, then doubled up Cleveland in the third quarter, 32-16, taking a 2-point lead to the fourth.
James' first miscue came with 2.3 seconds left when he drove baseline around the Pacers' and was whistled for stepping out of bounds, thwarting his chance at a go-ahead layup with the Cavs down 96-95.
Although the win helped Toronto stay ahead of Cleveland in the standings, both Casey and all-star guard DeMar DeRozan said they didn't think the game was make-or-break for the Raptors' season. "I can find just as much enjoyment in passing the ball as well". But Jordan, who's averaging 11.8 points and 14.9 rebounds per game, actually might be an improvement over him.
One of the downfalls of Cleveland during that quarter was their 32 percent shooting from the field, while their defense allowed IN to hit for five 3-pointers.
Marvin Williams scored 15 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 12 for Charlotte, which won despite an off night for Dwight Howard, who scored just two first-half points. The Pacers were 10 of 21 on 3s just two days after going a season-worst 1 of 18 from beyond the arc.
The Cavs played without four guards: Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert.
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