March 21, 2018

James leads Cavs to record second-half comeback win over Pacers

21 April 2017, 07:44 | Joan Schultz

The Pacers led by 10 after one quarter, then increased their lead to 50-36 with 5:54 remaining in the second quarter.

The series now shifts to IN, where the Pacers look extend the series after playing the defending champs pretty close IN the first two games.

Game 2: LeBron James (25), Kyrie Irving (37) and Kevin Love (27) each scored 25 points in the same playoff game for the first time as Cavaliers teammates.

With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sitting on the bench, James led the Cavaliers back from a 26-point deficit to give his team a commanding 3-0 series lead. "But we're right there on turning the switch on what we really can become".

The Cavaliers have built double-digit leads in the second half of both games, only to let the Pacers back in late.

It was as rough of a first half as LeBron James has faced in his career, followed by as dramatic a comeback as the 70-year history of the National Basketball Association has ever seen. Cleveland regained the lead twice during a 15-5 fourth-quarter run and closed it out with a 12-5 spurt.

Jeff Teague added 15 for IN, and Lance Stephenson scored 13 for the Pacers.

I'm not even going to say it's our defence. "But at the same time, I've got to have trust for my teammates".

"I'm not a numbers guy but that doesn't seem to add up".

"And we don't push the ball every single possession when we get a chance. 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". He did have eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers.

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So far combining the two games in the series, the Cavaliers are shooting at.545 (84-154) from the field, which saw.407 (24-59) from the three-point line.

Cavs guard J.R. Smith did not return for the second half because of a left hamstring injury. Whether it was his strong offensive play in the first and third quarters, or the consistent willingness to sacrifice his body in an attempt to draw charges and gain extra possessions for the Cavaliers, Love was inspirational for the team's victory.

Two days after giving up a lead and escaping with a one-point win, the Cavaliers almost squandered an 18-point cushion during a shaky fourth quarter on Monday before holding on for a 2-0 series lead.

"They're playing through all our punches, and we're throwing haymakers, and they're weaving", Stephenson said.

"He had that mindset, came in and executed, and it's hard to come off the bench right after halftime. We just need Shump to stay focused and understand the task at hand and I think he did a good job of that tonight".

"It's you guys writing us off that this game is going to be easy for the Cavs", said George, who had a team-high 32 points.

Game 2, again, was a close, hard-fought win for Cleveland. He needs to know at this point he has to take it to the next level. Even when we're down big.

"You take away the open shots and they don't get a rhythm to make the tough shots".

Officially, it will go down as the third-largest comeback in playoff history.

James, who has won 20 consecutive first-round playoff games, scored 28 second-half points and completely dominated the fourth quarter. Only Jerry West (14) and Michael Jordan (15) had more.

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