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Cavs’ Larry Drew, Larry Nance Jr. have heated exchange during huddle vs. Pacers

Cavs, Larry Drew, Larry Nance Jr.

Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr. posted one of his finest performances of the season in Tuesday night’s 92-91 victory over the Indiana Pacers. In fact, his buzzer-beating put-back is the reason Cleveland came away with the win. However, during a timeout in the second half, Nance found himself in a dispute with head coach Larry Drew about a play that was designed for someone else.

Via Joe Vardon of The Athletic:

Against the Pacers, Nance was literally running the offense, bringing the ball up the court. His team-high six assists are beside the point.

It’s a set Cleveland’s had since before the season even started, while Tyronn Lue was coach, where the rebounder (Nance, even Tristan Thompson or Kevin Love) initiates the break. The Cavs ran it so much Tuesday night that by the fourth quarter Nance was waving Collin Sexton off the ball and dribbling it up to get into a half-court offense. It got to the point where, during a timeout, coach Larry Drew outlined the next few plays with Nance not handling the ball, and Nance objected in what turned into a heated discussion.

“We had kind of an exchange, which I don’t mind at all, but he’s probably right,” Drew said. “Probably should’ve stayed with that play.”

Nance was all over the place in Tuesday night’s game, in a good way. In his 33 minutes of playing time, the Akron native racked up 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field (1-of-3 from beyond the arc), 16 rebounds, six assists and three steals. It was his last second put-back that sealed the deal:

“I told (Rodney) Hood to put the ball up on the rim with a couple seconds left so I can see if I could do something with it,” Nance told ESPN after Tuesday night’s game. “He made a good move and did exactly that. I was lucky enough to get a hand on it.”

The exchange between Nance and Drew might seem a bit strange to some, but these things happen throughout the course of an NBA season. Nance, who was playing well, simply wanted the rock in his hands. Drew, on the other hand, had to respect the other scorers on the team. Things worked out okay in the end:

Nance and the Cavs will wrap up their back-to-back set on Wednesday night with a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets. Tip-off inside the Spectrum Center is set for 7:00 p.m. ET with FOX Sports Ohio having live broadcast coverage.

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