Cleveland Cavaliers Secure Playoff Berth with Victory over Indiana Pacers

CLEVELAND (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points, Jarrett Allen added 29 with 13 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched their playoff berth on Friday with a 129-120 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Indiana pulled within 120-118 with 2:04 left on a play by Pascal Siakam. But Darius Garland responded with a three-pointer off Siakam.

The Cavs scored the final six points, led by a three-point play by Isaac Okoro, which ended with a somersault before posing for the crowd.

Garland and Caris LeVert contributed to the score with 16 each, Max Strus added seven points and nine assists. Allen made 13 of 14 shots for Cleveland, which secured its second consecutive postseason appearance after reaching four NBA Finals from 2015 to 2018.

“Tonight was the closest feeling to the postseason… and as an organization we felt that pressure,” Allen said. “We must celebrate this achievement because everyone has worked very hard to make this a reality. But the work is not finished yet. “We want to go far in the playoffs.”

The Cavaliers also secured a top-four spot in the Eastern Conference – and home-field advantage in the first round – despite Mitchell having only played in 11 games and averaging 19.5 points since the All-Star break due to recurrent discomfort in his left knee and a broken nose.

Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and 12 assists, Siakam scored 19 points, and Miles Turner finished with 17 for the Pacers, who could advance to the postseason for the first time since 2020 on Sunday with a win over Atlanta, or a loss to Philadelphia.

2024-04-13 03:54:34
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