CLEVELAND – Sitting on the last chair on Indiana’s bench, forward David West stared straight ahead, unable to look at the court. The Pacers’ promising season seemingly is unraveling.
Dion Waiters scored 19 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers posted a 90-76 victory Sunday over the skidding Pacers, who are losing their grip on the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Indiana has lost five straight road games and is one game ahead of the two-time defending champion Miami Heat for the best record in the East. The Pacers have scored fewer than 80 points in four of their last five games, losing each time that happened.
“We’re losing games at an alarming rate to teams that are inferior to us,” said West, who picked up a technical foul in the fourth quarter. “We can’t figure out a way to perform better. We’ve done what you do.
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“We’ve had team meetings. We’ve had players-only meetings. We’ve had players and the coaches (meetings). We’re kind of looking for answers right now, and things don’t get any easier.”
• Paul Pierce scored 22 points and the Brooklyn Nets beat Minnesota 114-99, tying a franchise record with their 13th straight home victory.
• Ex-Sonic Kevin Durant had 31 points and nine assists to help host Oklahoma City defeat Utah 116-96.
Durant scored at least 25 points for the 38th consecutive game, the longest such streak since Michael Jordan did it in 40 straight games for the Chicago Bulls in the 1986-87 season.
• LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points as Portland beat visiting Memphis 105-98 for its third victory in a row.
• J.R. Smith scored 21 points as the New York Knicks won 89-84 at Golden State.