LeBron James finished with 25 points while Kevin Love had 27 points. Let's get the obvious news out of the way - this Cleveland defense is Alexander's awful, horrible, no good, very bad day embodied as a basketball team.
In the second half, the Cavs' defense also turned it up as the Pacers scored just 40 second half points. The Cavaliers lead the first-round series, 3-0, with Game 4 set for IN at 1 p.m. April 23.
"He had that mindset, came in and executed, and it's hard to come off the bench right after halftime".
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.
After a worse loss in Game 2, George called out newly acquired Lance Stephenson at the postgame presser saying that Stephenson, a so-called leader for the Pacers, needs to control himself and improve his body language.
At the end of the third quarter Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard victimized Stephenson with a killer crossover. The teams traded leads on each of the next four baskets, but after George's 3 with 5:15 to go gave IN a 104-103 lead, James scored on a layup that started a 12-5 run to seal it.
According to Lue, the Cavs' poor offense didn't allow for the same kind of defensive success in the fourth quarter. The question is whether or not LeBron James can win the Eastern Conference finals for the seventh straight year and the Cavs can repeat as National Basketball Association champions.
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The only score that matters is 2-0.
Needed to start the second half after J.R. Smith's left hamstring tightened up, Shumpert provided scoring, defensive pressure on Paul George and some attitude as Cleveland survived another late rally by IN for a 117-111 win to take a 2-0 lead IN their Eastern Conference series.
After giving up a late lead and squeaking out the opener by just a point, James and Co. showed more intensity on defense and held on to win their 10th straight first-round game over the past three seasons.
James then blocked a Myles Turner drive and shook his head in no-no-no fashion after the ball sailed out of bounds, but George came right back and hit a three to make it 113-109 with 18.1 seconds remaining.
That's the next step in the Cavs' process, finding a way to play a complete game.
"What I saw was a true professional", LeBron James said of Shumpert, whose struggles late in the regular season led to his Game 1 benching. "We'll figure it out".
The Pacers blew a 26-point lead, but there were so many chances to stop the bleeding. I have to wonder if we'll notice when the Cavs turn it on, or if this is what they are satisfied with.
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But behind a classic LeBron playoff performance - 41 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and just three turnovers - the Cavs came all the way back to win 119-114, the biggest come from behind victory in National Basketball Association playoff history.
Game 4 is Saturday night.
Teague injured his right wrist in the second half and coach Nate McMillan said the starting guard will undergo X-rays.
In the third quarter, Cleveland took a much different approach, leaning heavily on Kevin Love's post play when the Pacers went small with Lance Stephenson covering the Cavaliers' power forward.
A run in the third quarter helped the Cavs cut Indiana's lead to just 7.
"He's gotta know at this point we need him to take it to the next level, and we'll continue to work with him", George said.
Irving, Love lead Cavs to victory
Cleveland was much better at the foul line in Game 2 , though, going 20 of 23 after making just 14 of 27 in Game 1. The Cleveland Cavaliers are the defending NBA Champions and are seeking their third straight NBA Finals trip.