Cavs and Pacers Make History in First-Ever In-Season Tournament Game


The NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament kicked off on Friday night, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers facing each other in the first game of the group stage. The Cavs and the Pacers are part of the East Group A, along with the Detroit Pistons, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Philadelphia 76ers. The tournament, which runs from November 3 to November 19, features 30 teams competing for a $1 million prize for each player and a $1.5 million bonus for the coaching staff.


Cavs Bounce Back from Home Loss with Road Win

The Cavaliers entered the tournament with a 2-3 record, coming off a disappointing home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night. The Cavs blew a 10-point lead in the final minutes, allowing the Thunder to go on an 18-5 run and spoil a career-high 43-point performance by Donovan Mitchell. The Cavs were also missing two of their key players, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, due to injuries.

However, the Cavs showed resilience and determination on Friday night, as they bounced back with a 112-105 road win over the Pacers. Mitchell led the way again with 30 points, including a clutch three-pointer in the fourth quarter that sealed the deal. Caris LeVert, who returned to the lineup after missing the first five games, added 22 points and six assists. Evan Mobley, who has been starting at center in Allen’s absence, posted a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, along with two blocks.

The Cavs also displayed their trademark defense, holding the Pacers to 42.4 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Cavs forced 17 turnovers and scored 23 points off them. The Cavs also outrebounded the Pacers, 49-43, and outscored them in the paint, 50-40.

Pacers Struggle to Find Consistency and Rhythm

The Pacers, on the other hand, entered the tournament with a 3-1 record, but they have had a rough week heading into the group stage. On Monday night, they lost by seven points to the Chicago Bulls at home, and on Wednesday night, they were blown out by 51 points by the Boston Celtics on the road. The Pacers allowed the Celtics to shoot 57 percent from the field and from the three-point line in the one-sided affair.

The Pacers hoped to bounce back on Friday night, but they could not keep up with the Cavs’ energy and intensity. The Pacers trailed by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, and although they cut the deficit to four points in the final period, they could not complete the comeback. Myles Turner led the Pacers with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Tyrese Haliburton and Bruce Brown, who form the Pacers’ new backcourt duo, had 18 points and 11 assists, and 16 points and six rebounds, respectively.

The Pacers struggled to find consistency and rhythm on both ends of the floor, as they shot poorly from the field and from the three-point line, and failed to contain the Cavs’ offense. The Pacers also committed 17 turnovers and gave up 23 points off them. The Pacers will need to regroup and improve their execution and communication if they want to advance to the next round of the tournament.

What’s Next for Both Teams?

The Cavs and the Pacers will face each other again on Saturday night, this time at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. The Cavs will try to sweep the home-and-home series and improve their record to 2-0 in the group stage, while the Pacers will try to avoid falling to 0-2 and losing four straight games. The Cavs will also hope to get Garland and Allen back from injury, while the Pacers will look to get more production from their bench, which was outscored by the Cavs’ reserves, 36-24.

The Cavs will then have a Sunday night showdown with the Golden State Warriors at home, before heading to Indiana for a rematch with the Pacers on Friday night. The Pacers will have a three-day break before hosting the Cavs again, and then they will travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Sunday night.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage, which will start on November 15. The semifinals will be on November 16, and the finals will be on November 19. The winner of the tournament will receive the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and a $1 million prize for each player and a $1.5 million bonus for the coaching staff.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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