While Paul George was busy fighting for Indiana's place in the postseason, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were sitting on the bench for the Cavaliers' regular-season finale and resting for the playoff spot they were guaranteed.
The Boston Celtics (53-29) edged the Cavaliers for the top seed this season, taking advantage of a three-game winning streak and four-game skid by Cleveland following their final regular-season meeting on April 5.
"It will be a fight, very similar to that last game", Nate McMillan recalled of their double overtime loss to the Cavs.
Five players are averaging at least 10.7 points per game for the Pacers, they are: George (23.7), Jeff Teague (15.3), Myles Turner (14.5), Thaddeus Young (11.0) and CJ Miles (10.7).
"He brings some toughness and a physicality and a little nasty, which we need at times", Coach Tyronn Lue said.More news: USA not focused on removing Syria's Assad
"It felt like a playoff game there and Lance sure treated it like a playoff game", George said following Thursdays practice.
They need a home win over the Milwaukee Bucks today (tomorrow morning, Singapore time) or a home loss by Cleveland to the Toronto Raptors the same night to clinch the top seed. "The only team in my opinion who can beat - I don't know if they can beat them - who thinks they have the confidence to beat the Cavaliers is the Wizards. It's just going to be a bigger challenge for us this year".
During the regular season, James averaged 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 37.8 minutes of play over 74 games.
The Portland Trail Blazers, headed to a first-round playoff series against the Warriors, stunned the San Antonio Spurs 99-98 on Noah Vonleh's layup as time expired. "Something's just got to happen at the end of the game for us".
Despite their poor play down the stretch, the Cavs and LeBron James claim they will be ready to defend their National Basketball Association title when the play-for-pay rounds begin.More news: Korea: We don't want a fight, don't start one
Cleveland's much-maligned defense then tightened up down the stretch, holding the Pacers without a point for almost three minutes until George's 3-pointer made it 109-108 with 40.9 seconds remaining.
Jones played most of the 2015-16 season with Grand Rapids in the D-League.
"I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just telling you my personal opinion", Barkley said.
Jones had an impact in the playoffs, appearing in 15 games and making a major contribution in Game 6 of the NBA Finals as Cleveland rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the city's first pro sports championship since 1964. You can't ever say that about any team with LeBron James.
This is not the first time James had a hard time in the regular season.More news: Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves in a 3-0 series hole
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