After splitting the first two games, the playoff series between the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers moved to Indianapolis for the first time on Friday, April 20. The Pacers were dominant at home this season, but defeating a team led by LeBron James in the playoffs is always going to be a difficult task.
Indiana started the game flat despite playing in front of a raucous crowd. The Pacers consistently struggled with their shooting touch throughout the first half. After only scoring 20 points in both the first and second quarter, the Pacers were down 17 points entering halftime.
Since they could not rely on their offense, Indiana stepped up their pressure on defense in the second half. After holding the Cavaliers to only 12 points in the third quarter, the Pacers were only down six points entering the final quarter. The Indiana offense came alive when it matter the most. They took the lead with six minutes left to play and never looked back. A late run by Cleveland made the game close, but the Pacers still won 92-90.
The win on Friday may turn out be the key moment in this series. Everyone in Indiana thought the team was going to lose halfway through the game, but they pulled off one of the most impressive comebacks in franchise history. The Pacers were not only able to maintain their home-court advantage, but they also drastically shifted the momentum in the series. Game 4 will be played on Sunday night.