NBA: Struggling Cleveland Cavaliers fall to Indiana Pacers, drop fourth game in a row

Cory Joseph of the Indiana Pacers tries to get a shot off between Jeff Green and Dwyane Wade of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov 1, 2017.
Cory Joseph of the Indiana Pacers tries to get a shot off between Jeff Green and Dwyane Wade of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov 1, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A Cleveland Cavaliers line-up struggling to come together and sustain effort for a full game suffered their fourth consecutive loss in the National Basketball Association on Wednesday, falling 107-124 to visiting Indiana.

Every Pacers starter scored in double figures. Thaddeus Young netted 26 points, Darren Collison added 25 and Victor Oladipo poured in 23.

Cleveland (3-5) suffered a fifth loss in six games, the past three by a combined 58 points.

"The other games, we just got our butts kicked," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "Tonight, I thought we did some good things. We just couldn't sustain it. But the other games we just flat out got our butts kicked. So seeing improvement."

The Pacers had lost nine meetings in a row with the Cavs since March 2014 - four months before LeBron James returned from Miami to Cleveland.

"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," James said. "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."

He led Cleveland with 33 points and 11 assists but committed a game-high eight turnovers, while Derrick Rose added 19 points.

"We can't sustain effort for 48 minutes," James said. "They hit a few bombs at the end and the game got out of hand."

Cavs centre Tristan Thompson missed the second half with a left calf strain.

"Now Tristan went down again so we don't know how long he's going to be out," James said. "Our team is kind of depleted as well, both on and off the floor."

With an average age of 30, the Cavaliers have the NBA's oldest roster. James is the NBA's sixth player with 400 regular-season games of at least 30 points, joining Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In Boston, ex-Cavs guard Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown each scored 22 points to power the Celtics over visiting Sacramento 113-86. The hosts (6-2) won their sixth in a row while the Kings (1-7) lost their sixth in a row.

In New York, James Harden had 31 points and nine assists and Houston scored 16 consecutive points in the second quarter on the way to a 119-97 victory over the Knicks.

In Philadelphia, Australia's Ben Simmons had 19 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to spark the 76ers to a 119-109 win over visiting Atlanta. It was the Sixers' third consecutive win and the seventh consecutive loss for the Hawks (1-7). The 76ers reached 4-4, the first time they have been at .500 since Nov 11, 2013.

In Utah, Frenchman Rudy Gobert sank an equalising dunk to force over-time and Spaniard Ricky Rubio scored seven of his team-high 30 points in the last 75 seconds to lift the Jazz to a 112-103victory over visiting Portland.

In Charlotte, Malik Monk scored 25 points, 18 in the fourth quarter, to help the Hornets defeat Milwaukee 126-121. Khris Middleton scored a career-high 43 points in a losing cause while Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA's leading scorer, fought foul trouble and finished with 14 points for the Bucks.

In Memphis, Evan Fournier had 22 points as visiting Orlando held off Memphis 101-99. Aaron Gordon, who had 19 points, made a three-pointer with 51 seconds remaining to put the Magic ahead to stay.

In Washington, T.J. Warren scored a career-high 40 points on 16-of-22 shooting to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 122-116 victory over the Wizards.

In New Orleans, Jimmy Butler scored 23 points and Andrew Wiggins added 18 as Minnesota won 104-98.

In Denver, Jamal Murray scored 24 points while Nikola Jokic added 16 rebounds and 10 assists to power the Nuggets over visiting Toronto 129-111.

In Miami, the Heat's Hassan Whiteside, back from an opening-night knee bruise, had 13 points and 14 rebounds in the hosts' 97-91 home triumph over Chicago.

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin scored 20 points and Austin Rivers added 19 to lead the Clippers over visiting Dallas 119-98.