The Cleveland Cavaliers' recent struggles have featured them getting blown out with ease by the opposing teams. It seemed to be a different story on Friday night, and whether it was Lance Stephenson's antics, or whatever else is going on with the Cavs, but the skid took another big blow to LeBron James's crew. After leading by as many as 22, the Cavaliers fell to the Indiana Pacers on the road, 97-95. Stephenson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Darren Collison added 22 points to power Indiana's comeback against their division rivals. This was the Cavaliers' third straight loss, the first two of which saw them lose by a combined 64 points. They were outscored, 84-61, in the final three quarters of Friday's contest, after they lead, 34-12, in the first 12 minutes. Victor Oladipo chipped in 19 points in what was the Pacers' third win of the season over the Eastern Conference's representative in the last three NBA Finals. James finished the night with 27 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds, and did get into a shoving match with old rival, Stephenson, near the end of the fourth quarter. After the game, he didn't hold back by saying "Lance is just a little dirty." The Cavs return home for another showdown with the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. The Pacers head out west to visit the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
Durant, Warriors Top Giannis, Bucks
Kevin Durant recently spoke very highly of Giannis Antetokounmpo, saying he could end up being the best in the league, but on Friday night, Durant was the better man. KD scored 26 points to lead the Golden State Warriors over the Milwaukee Bucks, 108-94. Draymond Green added 21 for Golden State, who used a 13-4 run late in the fourth quarter to put the game away for good. Durant and Green in back-to-back three-pointers during that run to lead the charge, as the Warriors finished just 3-for-13 from beyond the arc. Antetokounmpo put up 23 points and Eric Bledsoe scored 21 to lead the Bucks, who were outscored, 28-12, in the fourth quarter. They finished just 5-of-20 from the floor in the final 12 minutes. That was after taking a two-point lead heading into the fourth by outscoring the Warriors, 33-17, in the third quarter. Golden State led by 14 at the break before the Bucks' run. During that quarter, it was a 15-7 run, powered by three-pointers from Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell, that sparked Milwaukee. The Warriors' tough road trip goes north of the border for a showdown with the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. The Bucks head into a matinee affair with the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon.
Flames Double-Up Panthers for Sixth Straight Win
The Calgary Flames' recent hot streak, no pun intended, has them right on the Los Angeles Kings' tail for the second spot in the Pacific Division. Mikael Backlund had an empty-net goal and two assists for the Flames in a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night for their sixth straight victory. Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Sean Monahan also scored for the team with the longest-active win streak in the NHL. David Rittich got his first start between the pipes in seven games and stopped 41 shots for the Flames, who are eight points behind the Las Vegas Golden Knights for the top spot in the Pacific Division. Rittich got the start for Mike Smith, who started in a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. Evegenii Dadanov scored both goals for the Panthers, who have dropped four of their past five games. Dadanov's big game snaps a personal 19-game goal drought, while James Reimer made 25 saves in his 16th consecutive start. The Flames will look to keep the streak going when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon. The Panthers move on to their five-day break before they play host to the top team in the Pacific, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, on Friday night.