Depleted CAVS slump again

Cleveland forward LeBron James making a pass as Indiana players Cory Joseph, Lance Stephenson and 	Bojan Bogdanovic attempt to block him in their game at Quicken Loans Arena. He led the Cavs with 33 points and 11 assists but committed a game-high eig
Cleveland forward LeBron James making a pass as Indiana players Cory Joseph, Lance Stephenson and Bojan Bogdanovic attempt to block him in their game at Quicken Loans Arena. He led the Cavs with 33 points and 11 assists but committed a game-high eight turnovers.PHOTO: REUTERS

They suffer fourth straight loss but coach Lue sees improvement by injury-hit side

CLEVELAND (Ohio) • A Cleveland Cavaliers line-up struggling to come together and sustain effort for a full game suffered their fourth straight National Basketball Association (NBA) loss on Wednesday, falling 107-124 to the Indiana Pacers at home.

Every Pacers starter scored in double figures, with Thaddeus Young leading the way with 26 points.

Darren Collison added 25 and Victor Oladipo poured in 23 as Cleveland (3-5) lost their past three by a combined 58 points.

"Tonight, I thought we did some good things. We just couldn't sustain it," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.

"But the other games we just flat out got our butts kicked. So seeing improvement."

The visitors shot a blistering 16 of 26 from three-point range (61.5 per cent). They made seven more threes than their nightly average, but it was against a Cavs defence already allowing the most threes per game in the NBA.

LeBron James led the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions with 33 points and 11 assists, though he committed a game-high eight turnovers. Derrick Rose added 19 points, and Jeff Green scored 15 off the Cleveland bench.

  • 61.5%

  • Indiana's accuracy from three-point range, hitting 16 of 26 attempts.

"They hit a few bombs at the end and the game got out of hand," James said. "I'm not worried about that. It's just we have an opportunity to be very good and then you see some of the lulls that we have and it's just very difficult on our team right now.

"We're just trying to figure it out on the fly and unfortunately we don't have time to practise a lot and do those things and now Tristan (Thompson) went down again so we don't know how long he's going to be out.

"So, our team is kind of depleted as well, both on and off the floor."

Cavs centre Thompson missed the second half with a calf strain and left the Quicken Loans Arena on crutches.

Guards Dwyane Wade, Rose and Iman Shumpert have all been hit by injuries this season while Isaiah Thomas is a long-term absentee.

Before tip-off on Wednesday, James admitted he experienced the worst training camp of his career owing to an ankle injury and is not surprised by his team's lacklustre start.

He said the injury, which kept him out of all but one of his team's five pre-season games, denied him a chance to properly prepare a revamped Cavs team many expected would roll into the NBA Finals.

"I didn't get an opportunity to do the things that I like to do and with the summer that I had, I kind of had a setback," said the 32-year-old.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Depleted CAVS slump again'. Print Edition | Subscribe