The Indiana Pacers could use a win here after losing six of their last eight games. Tonight's game at IN marks the finale of the road swing.
Early on it certainly didn't look like the Pacers would be carrying that victorious momentum into their upcoming road trip.
There was also a dip in the visitors' form, with LeBron James and company coming into the night 4-6 in their last 10 games.
James said he would just "know" when it's time to retire, just like he knew it was the right time to get engaged and get married.
Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 118-108 home win over the New York Knicks.
However, like they've had to do too often as of late, the Pacers clawed their way back with strong play from their guards. "Every night is a different animal that you've got to attack, and our job and our approach is to be consistent as much as possible each night".
But back-to-back defensive brain cramps in which the Cavs gave up 1277 points in consecutive games and then that stinker last night in Toronto makes it very plain the issue in Cleveland is not working one new starter into the mix.
With about eight minutes left in the game, the Pacers swingman was able to get James to commit a technical foul.
It was just another act in their twos "chippy" history.
"I mean, I would hope not", James said. "That's all. He's a little dirty".
"We've all got to be accountable for actions, accountable for how we play, how hard we play, what we're doing for one another", he told reporters after the game. They caught me on the retaliation.
Joel Embiid had 16 points, and fellow All-Star hopeful Ben Simmons added 15 for the 76ers. His 22 points on 9 of 11 shooting (81.8%) while handing out two assists and grabbing a pair of steals. The Pacers rank 25th in the National Basketball Association with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.178, while Cleveland ranks first in FTA rate allowed (0.160).
Neither team made a field goal the rest of the way, with IN finishing the game on an 8-0 run.
A player like DeAndre Jordan can help solve their defensive woes with his interior defense and presence on the boards, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Cavaliers are still reluctant to include the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick in trade talks with the Los Angeles Clippers regarding the center.
But the guy with a knack for getting inside opponents' heads with unthinkable stunts, like blowing in James' ear or giving him a thumb in the side - as television replays showed during the game - played the instigator perfectly. "Luckily, he stepped out of bounds". The Cavs have not beaten the Pacers in two meetings this season.