The Pacers are a fascinating team this season. Victor Oladipo has been playing at an All-Star level; if the season were to end today, he’d receive MVP votes. Indiana has been on a bit of a skid recently, going 4-6 in their last 10 games, and Indiana was handled pretty easily by the Heat earlier in the week.

The Pacers also won’t have Myles Turner for a few games with an elbow injury; the Cavs tonight played without Isaiah Thomas, and Cleveland was also reeling, having lost seven out of nine games.

Early on, it seemed like Cleveland would walk all over the Pacers, getting a bit of revenge for their 0-2 start against Indiana to start the year. The Cavs at one point opened up a 22-point lead, outscoring the Pacers 34-12 in the first quarter.

And then, weird stuff happened. The Pacers cut a bit of the lead in the second, then doubled up Cleveland in the third quarter, 32-16, taking a 2-point lead to the fourth. Down the stretch, things got a bit odd.

Lance Stephenson and LeBron got into it again, as they’re apparently contractually obligated to do:

Then, trailing by 4 with less than two minutes remaining, Domantas Sabonis erased a shot at one end, leading to a Stephenson breakout, the one area in which he’s indisputably an upper-echelon NBA player:

That cut the deficit to two. Victor Oladipo took care of that:

That put the Pacers up one, and after trading misses, the Cavs took timeout to set up this LeBron drive. It did not go well:

Another look:

Slim margin, but it looks like they got the call right. Darren Collison split a pair of free throws, and the Cavs (having taken two timeouts prior to the out of bounds misstep) were left trying to go the length of the court. Kevin Love and LeBron still almost connected for the win:

The win moves the Pacers to 3-0 against Cleveland this year, and keeps Indiana in the 8th slot in the East a conference so jumbled that the Pacers are just 2.5 games out of 4th, and 4 games behind Cleveland for the 3 seed. The Cavs, meanwhile, continue to look very much like a beatable team, especially without Isaiah Thomas. LeBron can’t do everything, and he’s clearly getting annoyed.

Maybe the Lakers should start trying to move salary now after all.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.