Huge rally carries Cavs past Pacers
The Spurs were beaten by the Memphis Grizzlies 105-94 to see their Western Conference first-round series lead reduced to 2-1.
Maybe that spark will ignite a larger fire in the defending champions, who allowed a big lead in the fourth quarter to almost disappear again before finishing off the Pacers.
But my favorite line from LeBron after Game 3 came when he was asked about his success hitting 3-point shots against the Pacers, an aspect of his game that can be inconsistent at times.
We held Paul George to four points in that third quarter where our defense was really good. Everything worked on offense. To add to his incredible performance, he went six of seven from the field, including an impressive three of four from beyond the three-point line, and a flawless 12 of 12 at the free-throw line.
Lance Stephenson looked like the best guard on the Pacers. Even the struggling Myles Turner had the dunk of the playoffs over Tristan Thompson. The ball-dominance of James and Irving have put Love on the backburner offensively, and he's attempted just two shots from the field. The Pacers explored trading George at the trade deadline amid rumors that he will likely leave as a free agent in 2018 if the Pacers aren't close to title contention.
Then the second half happened.
These Cavs have been analyzed ad nauseam of late - if they can flip the switch in the postseason, if they simply have the composition to be a repeat champion. With 50 seconds remaining in the first, they went up 72-46 after a Paul George three. But in the second half, specifically the fourth quarter, the Cavs went shooter-heavy around LeBron, quadrupling down on 3-point-shooting and sliding Frye down to the five. The two combined for four 3s in the second half. "One thing I do know is that we had a huge halftime deficit and were able to come back and win the game". The Pacers were quick to find an open man and they punished the Cavs for it with corner 3s and wide-open lanes to the basket.
The Cavs came out of the locker room for the third quarter a better team, outscoring the Pacers, 35-17, in the third quarter to trim their deficit to 91-84.
After watching C.J. Miles hoist and miss the final and potentially game-winning shot in Game 1, George called Miles out. Pacers G Lance Stephenson worked out for the Cavs in January.
All hail the King: It nearly feels like a cop out to put James in a list of takeaways.
It was James who damn near single-handedly pushed Cleveland to their 119-114 win on Thursday. Game 3 takes place in Memphis on Thursday. He passed Wes Unseld for postseason rebounds. He had 36 points, a playoff career-high 15 rebounds and nine assists.
LeBron James has spent the past 14 years building a resume that would warrant an all-time great spot in the pantheon of National Basketball Association history. Just to start out, get us moving, get us flowing, get everybody in rhythm again and engage everybody once again. Many analysts reckon James has already cemented himself as the second greatest player ever behind Jordan.