Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Gerald Green tallied 20 points off the bench and Tyler Hansbrough recorded 18 points as the Indiana Pacers ended a two-game losing skid with an easy 111-90 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Green keyed the Pacers’ second-quarter breakaway with 11 points in a 16-3 blast that turned a close 40-38 lead to a commanding 56-41 advantage as the Pacers improved to 41-26 despite missing the services of forward David West due to back injury.
Hansbrough, who effectively filled up the void left by West, took over in the third period, scoring nine points, including a dunk that gave a Pacers an 81-59 lead.
Hansbrough also grabbed 11 boards in only his second start this season while Paul George and Roy Hibbert added 14 and 12 markers, respectively, for Indiana.
“It’s a different mentality coming off the bench, but I don’t expect to start over David West. He’s a great player. I just had to make a little mental adjustment tonight, knowing I was starting,” Hansbrough said.
Jeff Pendergraph backed up Hansbrough with 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists while George Hill added nine for Indiana.
Obviously, we’ve got great depth at the power forward position,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. “Tyler is a legitimate starter in this league and Jeff might be, as well. He’s definitely at least a quality backup.”
Shooting guard C.J. Miles scored a game-high 21 points while power forward Tristan Thompson added 20 points and 11 boards for the Cavaliers (22-45), who played the last three quarters without shooting guard Dion Waiters.
Waiters exited after the first quarter with a sore left knee that has been bothering him for a couple of games.
“The doctor said we’ll find out how things are tomorrow,” Waiters said.
The Cavaliers also lost backup center Marreese Speights late in the third period after he was ejected for committing a flagrant-two foul on George, wrapping his forearm around his neck before throwing him to the ground.
“It was a punk play, honestly. It’s as simple as that. Me and Mo Speights are cool, so I don’t think it’s anything personal, but that was a punk play the way he went after me like that,” George said.