Cleveland Cavaliers Teammates Inspired With Kevin Love's Game 2 Performance

Kawhi Leonard finished with 37 points as the Spurs took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series at AT&T Center.

The Pacers will try to win their first game of the series Thursday night at 7:00 P.M. "I thought we started to get frantic out there", said Pacers head coach Nate McMillen.

James delivered 28 second-half points as he took over the contest in the fourth quarter. Paul George led the team with 32 points with eight rebounds and seven assists, Jeff Teague added 23 points with four assists while Thaddeus Young chipped in with 16 points.

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

Love scored 10 points in the third quarter, six of which came at the free throw line, and appeared to frustrate Stephenson the more it went on.

Shumpert limited IN star Paul George to just four points IN the third quarter Monday when the Cavs built a 19-point lead. This has led to a bit of anxiety, but the Cavaliers remain in a very good spot going into their third game.

LeBron still managed to deliver his usual brilliance, but the Cavs went from owning an 18-point lead late in the third quarter to just a five-point game with less than three minutes to play in regulation. It's playoffs, guys are playing a lot of minutes and they're competing. Distractions are the last thing the team needs right now especially if they are coming from their best player.

"We have to take care of the basketball", Lue bemoaned.

Spurs' forward Kawhi Leonard pulled off a Herculean effort with 37 points and 11 rebounds; he was ideal from the free-throw line hitting all 19 attempts.

The other hitch for Cleveland was that starting guard J.R. Smith didn't play in the second half because of a left hamstring injury. Guard Deron Williams briefly spoke to Smith, who has struggled with consistency after missing three months following surgery for a broken right thumb.

George was asked about Stephenson after Monday's 117-111 Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers. "And 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.

In the Pacers' Game 1 loss to the Cavs, it was CJ Miles whom George called out for missing a potential game-winning jumper. 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.

According to ESPN, during the post-game interview with Paul George, it was reported that he was upset he was not the one who attempted the final shot.

It's easy to get concerned about how close these games have been, given the handwringing accompanying the Cavaliers over the last four games of the season. "The King James", though, can't win the title by himself and his teammates will have to be at their sharpest in the play-offs as well if they are to give fans yet another reason for celebration. Typically, Love will get the majority of his points early on and Irving and James will carry most of the weight later in games.

James passed Kobe Bryant for No. 3 on the NBA's career playoff scoring list and tied another National Basketball Association record by winning his 20th consecutive first-round game. He scored 36 points, grabbed a playoff career-high 15 rebounds and finishing with nine assists, one short of his second postseason triple-double.

  • Julie Sanders