The Indiana Pacers may have lost Games 1 and 2 in the first round against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they came out with a firestorm in Game 3. Indiana dropped 74 points during the first half of Game 3, which set a new NBA franchise record.
Indiana led Cleveland at halftime, 74-59.
The “NBA franchise record” might sound a bit confusing, but the Pacers played in the ABA prior to joining the NBA. This was the most points Indiana scored in the first half of a playoff game as a member of the NBA.
The team’s previous record in an NBA playoff game was 65, which the Pacers set on June 2, 1995 against the Orlando Magic. They repeated the feat on April 17, 2004 versus the Boston Celtics.
The Pacers opened the game shooting 14-for-21 (66.7 percent), which gave them a 37-27 lead to end the first quarter. During the second quarter, center Myles Turner jammed home an impressive dunk off of his own miss and really got the crowd into it.
Indiana finished the first half shooting 56.8 percent, which included the team going 10-for-17 from the 3-point line.
Pacers forward Paul George led Indiana with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Thaddeus Young was second on the team with 9 points. He also chipped in 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Coming off the bench, Lance Stephenson had 8 points and 4 rebounds.
If Indiana holds on to win the game, the Pacers will cut the Cavaliers’ lead in the series in half.
It’s far from finished, though. Cleveland outscored Indiana, 35-17, in the third quarter and pulled within 1 point with just under nine minutes to go in the game.
Coming into Game 3, Cleveland led 2-0. Game 4 will be Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.