Cavs hold on for win

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

The Pacers now trail the Cavaliers 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs.

Kevin Love (27) and LeBron James (25) got their side home 117-111 after nearly blowing an 18-point lead in the final term when the Pacers inched to within four. We all know Lance is an emotional guy, and a lot of it is just his heart, and his competitiveness, and that emotion comes out on him. We've got to figure it out at home.

The Cavaliers were up by 18 points in the final quarter but relaxed and let the Pacers get to within four points in the final minute. "We're right there on turning the switch on what we really can become", James said.

Kyrie's jumper contributed to his 37 points, and every single one of them was needed to help the Cavs get by the Pacers, 117-111.

The series now shifts to Indianapolis for Games 3 and 4 with Game 3 on Thursday night.

Paul George scored 32 points and Jeff Teague 23 for IN, which now has a steep hill to climb to get back IN the series. "We didn't do that", Pacers coach Nate McMillan said, looking back at the Cavs' 109-108 win in Game 1 on Saturday. Their play in the fourth quarter has also been a huge positive for in; they've beaten Cleveland 57-42 in the first two games late.

Irving ended the period by draining a 3-pointer over Stephenson and the All-Star made sure Indiana's antagonizing guard knew about it, yapping in his direction long after the horn sounded. "And that was big". James also had no trouble dicing up the Pacers, finishing with 32 points and 13 assists as he got deep into the paint at will.

The Pacers lost when C.J. Miles missed an open 14-footer at the buzzer.

But if the Cavaliers are going to accomplish their only true goal - repeating as National Basketball Association champions - they are going to have to, at some point, start playing defense.

This marks the first time in the playoffs that the Big 3 all scored 20 or more points. They don't - they can't - get closer than that. Prior to that, the Cavs had lost 10 straight games at Indiana. This led, in part, to Leonard getting the 19 free throws.

Fizdale complained bitterly that officials had unfairly skewed the free throw count against his players.

"(We need to) clean up a few things. We make plays down the stretch to win a ball game, and in the post season that's all you can ask for. "I thought they engaged first in everything". That's unacceptable, that was unprofessional. "My leg ain't broke", Smith told reporters, via ESPN, following Monday's win that gave the Cavs a 2-0 series lead.

The Grizzlies forced seven turnovers while outscoring the Spurs 34-19 in the opening 16 minutes of the second half.

While the roster is less than ideal, Memphis still has Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, and that may be enough to win a game at home in this series. "But we found a way to pull the game out, and we'll be better". While McMillan was able to successfully move Glenn Robinson III into the rotation in his return from injury, his short term positive play (four points in nine minutes) was well less than Monta Ellis, who had two points in 25 minutes.

Unlike Game 1, there was no coming back from that deficit for Memphis.

KEEP AN EYE ON: San Antonio's 3-point shooting. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TNT.

  • Julie Sanders