Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Cavs go 2-0 up in Pacers playoff


The Cleveland Cavaliers did what they needed to Monday night.

The Pacers walk off the floor in Cleveland after losing game two of their playoff series with the Cavaliers.

In the end, though, the Cavs hung on to win, and as the final horn sounded, LeBron James, with an underhand motion threw the ball upward toward the rafters, as though happy the game finally ended. He is a monster to handle, and without question the top player in the league.

Cleveland was led by their three-headed monster with Kyrie Irving scoring a game-high 37 points, Kevin Love's 27 and LeBron James' 25 points.

But, then again, that's 17 minutes.

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.

"We were trying to cool off Kyrie", McMillan said.

The Cavs are mostly concerned with Paul George, who nearly singlehandedly won the last two games for the Pacers, erupting for 43 points in the regular season final game.

Saturday's contest was Lowry's fifth after being sidelined for 21 games following wrist surgery.

That's Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, guarded by Jeff Teague and Paul George. Cleveland had just two assists in the period. Myles Turner wasn't his usual self, saying postgame that he's got to slow down and have better composure.

Irving led the way with 37 (11 of which came in the fourth quarter).

"We make plays down the stretch to win a ball game and in the postseason that's all you can ask for". That led George to declare, "In situations like that, I got to get the last shot". Someone's got to help PG. We have so many pieces on this team, but everyone has to stay ready. He had it X-rayed after the game, but results weren't immediately known. "Lance, in our locker room, is looked upon as a leader".

With two-thirds of the trio covered, Kevin Love is the only one left. If they see it as more of a knock than motivation, it'll be a different story.

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Love, a four-time All-Star, had his way in the post and ran off 10 straight points on his own.

Fourth-quarter leads continue to be a problem for Cleveland. On the second to last day of the regular season, the Cavaliers lost the No. 1 seed to the Boston Celtics.

The Pacers were led by 32 points from Paul George.

The Pacers had no answer of how to stop him.

Leonard attempted more free throws than Memphis had as a team, which infuriated Fizdale. Their guards are the weakest point as the Cavs have the star power, the versatility and the size the Pacers can't match. James was responsible for eight and Young tallied six steals in the lost.

The series moves to IN for Game 3, which will be played Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

Larry Bird is not amused.

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

In the meantime, the Pacers' defense has to be addressed. But let's not go down the road of acting like this is where George has always been.

According to NBA.com's Impact Insights, in the 18.5 minutes he was guarding him, Shumpert allowed George to make only three shots on 10 attempts. There might be a shot, or another pass that can then be made. "To have J.R. go out like that, come out at halftime, it was a big switch".

The Pacers have a 115.3 offensive rating through the first two games.

Pacers: Glenn Robinson III returned after missing the past 12 games with a strained left calf.

"It gets worse", Lowry said. He scored four in nine minutes.

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