Cavs hold off Pacers in Game 2
Blown big leads. Defensive breakdowns.
Kyrie Irving scored 37 points while Kevin Love added 27 and James had 25 as the Cleveland Cavaliers avoided another 4th-quarter collapse in Game 2 of their National Basketball Association playoffs, beating the Indiana Pacers 117-111 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
They forged into a 51-39 lead after a 16-2 run before the Pacers battled back to within five points as the half finished with the Cavs up 63-58.
Game 3 between the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers was a must win for the Pacers, who entered the contest down 0-2 in the best of seven series. Cleveland's point guard Kyrie Irving also scored 20+ points per game, and Kevin Love is a solid scorer as well. If we had the answers we'd probably be up in this series right now. That would be former Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. Enter Games 1 and 2 against the Indiana Pacers.
Jeff Teague added 15 and Lance Stephenson scored 13 for the Pacers.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue blamed fatigue for the high turnover count that allowed San Antonio to claw their way back into the contest in the fourth quarter.
But the Cavs put the home fans through the ringer in a nervy finale as the Pacers punished a litany of mistakes to cut the gap to four points with 18 seconds remaining.
The Pacers spend so much of their energy trying to catch up after their lackluster play for most of the game that by the time they were in striking distance of Cleveland the Pacers were exhausted.
"I thought we lost our composure and got frantic out there", McMillan said of his team's third-quarter meltdown. "You got to be willing to sacrifice and lay it on the line to win a game, and that's what he did for us". "We don't take it for granted".
Cleveland's defense was more impressive than James' offense, holding IN to 5-for-26 shooting IN the period (19.2 percent). IN has outscored Cleveland 57-38 in the fourth quarters of Games 1 and 2, only to come up short.
After another close loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and yet another near double-digit comeback, the Pacers All-Star is fed up with just about everyone in the in locker room.
"Early on in the third (quarter), I saw it getting out of hand". Kyrie Irving had a monster game with 37 points, two rebounds and two assists.
We all believe in one another. "And he had that mindset, came in and executed, and it's hard to come off the bench right after halftime". Game 3 is on Thursday, April 20.
This comeback began with a second straight devastating third-quarter punch from the Cavs. "We take away some of these easy baskets we're giving up, and these games might be a little different. You've got to take your hat off to him". Even when we're down big. "We're playing for pride now". No other Cavalier had more than 13 points.
Therefore, the night belonged to LeBron, who inched closer to Magic Johnson's record mark of 30 postseason triple-doubles.
James passed Kobe Bryant for number three on the league's career playoff scoring list and tied another National Basketball Association record by winning his 20th consecutive first-round game. Bad shots. It means nothing to LeBron James. Only Jerry West (14) and Michael Jordan (15) had more. No, it isn't. The way they played in the second half of Game 3 is the way defending champions should play.