Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Sport | By Stephen Hansen

Cavs take 2-0 lead behind Irving's 37 points


Game 2 got away from IN during a critical stretch late IN the third quarter IN which Cleveland's Kevin Love repeatedly pounded Stephenson IN the post, scoring 10 of his 27 points IN less than two minutes of game action.

It mirrored a similar shaky finish in Game 1, when in wiped out a 10-point fourth quarter lead before Cleveland ground out a win.

"I wanted to play, they didn't want me to play", said Smith, who is determined to play in Game 3. "He did a hell of a job on the defensive end, came in and made a big shot for us", Smith said.

In the Cavs' case, that percentage really wasn't a result of bad defense, but rather the amount of turnovers resulting in easy shots for in in transition.

It may be somewhat surprising that those are the most expensive playoff tickets for an opening round game in IN since 2009, but then you remember that LeBron James is the biggest name in the National Basketball Association.

After giving up a late lead and squeaking out the opener by a point, James and Co. showed more intensity on defense, more swagger in general and won their 10th straight first-round game over the past three seasons.

It would behoove the Cavs to find that switch and flip it before better competition arrives in the conference semifinals or the lights might get turned out on them.

"It was really good for us", Lue said of Shumpert. So, like I told you, I'd much rather have an 18-point lead than not have a lead at all.

If LeBron's words about being "right there" and "close to the team that we all know we can become", turn out to be true, opponents might be in for a rude awakening should Cleveland start to click on all cylinders.

"We're right there", said four-time league MVP LeBron James, who had 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and eight turnovers.

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In Game 1, the Pacers trailed by 10 points entering the final quarter but cut it down to one point in the end game.

Up as many as 19 and by 18 after three quarters, the talented but sometimes unfocused Cavs held on for a 117-111 victory over the stubborn Indiana Pacers on Monday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland is 12-0 when starting 2-0 in the postseason.

Teague injured his right wrist in the second half and head coach Nate McMillan said the guard will undergo X-rays. It was the first time in franchise history that three players scored at least 25 points in a playoff game. ESPN notes that at one point in the third quarter, Stephenson slammed the ball on the floor after the play was over. "And that was big".

Paul George had 32 for the Pacers, who will play Game 3 in their homecourt.

Now, they're heading home in a hole they still believe they can climb from.

After watching C.J. Miles hoist and miss the final and potentially game-winning shot in Game 1, George called Miles out. If they let me play, then I'll play.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is hopeful of a quick return from a hamstring injury which restricted him in his team's win over the Indiana Pacers.

They also got an assist from the officials, according to Memphis coach David Fizdale. "We just need Shump to stay focused and understand the task at hand and I think he did a good job of that tonight".

George was upset that the fiery Stephenson briefly lost his composure. "I've got to slow down and keep my composure".

Lance Stephenson has tried to be that guy, be an emotionally leader off the bench. His body language has to improve. You're going to get everyone's best shot for 82 games with players and teams coming at you. He scored four in nine minutes. He's been out since March 26 with a sprained left ankle. And this is before you have the conversation about how Paul George is calling out teammates or the team spirit every other game. He also passed Magic Johnson (358 steals) for third place in playoff steals.

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