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Cavs outlast Pacers in double OT

It took two overtimes, but the Cavaliers were able to outlast the Pacers and remain one half game behind the Celtics for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 135-130 win

CLEVELAND-- It took two overtimes, but the Cavaliers were able to outlast the Indiana Pacers 135-130 in front of a sell out crowd at Quicken Loans Arena. With the win, the Cavs improve to 49-27 and remain a half a game behind the Boston Celtics, who defeated the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon. The Pacers fall to 37-40 and went from seventh to tied for eighth with the Miami Heat in the playoff race for the Eastern Conference playoffs. Only the top eight teams make the playoffs and the Heat have the tie-breaker over the Pacers. 

The Cavs used a 13-0 run to end the third quarter and start the fourth quarter to turn a 78-77 lead into a 91-77 lead with 10:21  left in the game  They scored the last five points of the third quarter and the first eight of the fourth quarters to take a 91-77 when Channing Frye hit a trey. However, the Cavs let the Pacers back in the game and the lead when former Cav C.J. Miles hit a trey with 1:25 to give the Pacers a 104-102 lead. 

LeBron James scored 14-straight points for the Cavs over a  eight minute stretch in the fourth quarter and tied the game 104-104 with 1:01 to play. After making a defensive stop, Tristan Thompson was fouled with 25.6 seconds to play and missed both free throws. The Pacers missed their last shot in regulation to send the game to overtime.  

"We executed defensively in the overtime," James said. "We have to get a lot better late in games down the stretch, but it was a good win for us."

James played 51:39 of 58 minutes and had a triple-double with 41 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. Kyrie Irving scored 23 points and Kevin Love added 20. J. R. Smith hit six treys for 18 points. Also, Thompson scored 12 points and Frye chipped in with 10.

In the first overtime, Smith hit a three with 2.8 seconds to play to give the Cavs a 114-113 lead, but Thompson fouled Paul George with 2.1 seconds to play and he split the pair to send the game to double overtime. George came into the game shooting over 90 percent from the free throw line. 

In the second overtime, Kevin Love came alive and scored nine points, including a trey with 26.5 seconds to play to give the Cavs a 131-127 lead. Kyrie Irving finished the game off with four free throws to cap the night and was 11-of-11 from the free throw line. 

The Pacers were led by George, who scored 43 points, including 19-straight in the overtime periods. 

Tip Ins

Where They Stand: The Celtics defeated the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon and maintained their half game lead over the Cavs. Boston is 50-27, while the Cavs are 49-27. The two teams will play Wednesday night in Boston. If the Cavs defeat the Magic Tuesday  night, they will play the Celtics tied. 

LeBron Time: LeBron James had his 39th double-double of the season and a triple-double with 41 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists.  James scored 30 points for the 20th time this season. James has scored in double figures in 787 consecutive regular season games, dating back to Jan. 6, 2007. He has now tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the 2nd-longest streak of all time. Michael Jordan holds the record with having scored at least 10 points in an NBA-best 866 consecutive games.

Double Double Love: Kevin Love had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, but scored nine of his points in the second overtime period. 

Three Ball: The Cavs were 18-of-43 for 41.9 percent from distance. J.R. Smith was 6-of-11 from three-point range. 

The Boards: The Cavs our rebounded the Pacers, 66-51. LeBron James had 16 rebounds, Kevin Love had 12 and Tristan Thompson had nine. 

Dishing It: The Cavs had 29 assists led by LeBron James with 11 and Kyrie Irving with 7.

Free Throw Blues: The Cavs missed ten free throws and shot 69.7 percent for the game on 23-of-33. Thompson missed two free throws with 25.6 seconds to play in regulation with the game tied. However, Kyrie Irving was 11-of-11 from the charity stripe, including four-straight in the final seconds. 

RJ Back: Richard Jefferson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a knee injury. Jefferson played 10:47 and did not score with one rebound and one assist. 

No Korver: Kyle Korver sat out another game with the sore foot. 

Next Up: The Cavs host the Orlando Magic Tuesday night at 7 pm to finish their three-game home stand. They will then travel to Boston to take on the Celtics on Wednesday at 8 pm in a battle for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. 

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