Cavaliers 129-120 Pacers (April 12, 2024) Game Recap

CLEVELAND – – Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points, Jarrett Allen had 29 points and 13 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched a playoff spot with a 129-120 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

Indiana got within 120-118 with 2:04 left on Pascal Siakam’s drive, but Darius Garland answered with a 3-pointer over Siakam. The Cavaliers scored the final six points, capped by a three-point play from Isaac Okoro that ended with a somersault before posing for the crowd.

Garland and Caris LeVert each finished with 16 points, and Max Strus had seven points and nine assists. Allen made 13 of 14 shots for Cleveland, which won its first consecutive playoff appearances since appearing in four straight NBA Finals from 2015-18.

“Tonight was the closest we got to a playoff feel before the playoffs, and we felt that pressure as an organization,” Allen said. “We should celebrate this achievement because everyone worked hard to achieve this. But the work is not yet finished. We want to go far in the playoffs. »

The Cavaliers also clinched a top-four seed in the East — and home-court advantage in the first round — despite Mitchell playing in just 11 games and averaging just 19.5 points since the All-Star break due to lingering left knee pain and fracture. nose.

“It was a long 2/3 months, but I kept believing,” said Mitchell, whose points total was his highest since February 12. “That’s what I do. Now how do I elevate myself to be better in the playoffs? It’s a good win for us and I think we’re in a good position.

Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and 12 assists, Siakam scored 19 points and Myles Turner 17 points for the Pacers, who can advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2020 with a win against Atlanta or a loss against Philadelphia on Sunday .

Thanks to the confusing playoff picture, Indiana can finish as high as fifth and as high as eighth in the East. The clubs ranked seventh and eighth will participate in the play-in tournament.

“Sunday is what you play your whole season for, it’s a home game with an opportunity,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’ll have to flush the toilet as soon as possible and get ready.” Tonight was disappointing and we have some things to clean up.

Aaron Nesmith scored nine points in the third and Haliburton scored eight, bringing Indiana to 97-94 heading into the fourth. Pacers forward Obi Toppin sprained his left ankle during the period and did not return.

The Cavaliers took a 14-point lead in the second half and led 70-59 at halftime. Mitchell scored 18 points in 18 minutes and Allen had 16 points and nine rebounds.

“There were times this year where a lot of people killed us in the water,” Cleveland coach JB Bickerstaff said. “Somehow this group stuck together and persevered. I think it’s a good sign for us.


Pacers: Host Atlanta on Sunday.

Cavaliers: Host Charlotte on Sunday.



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