National Basketball Association roundup: Cavaliers hold on to beat Pacers

It looks as though the Cavs have got their groove back, and its paying dividends as they take a commanding series lead into a hostile environment for Game 3 in Indiana.

After two wins in as many tries against the Indiana Pacers in this first-round playoff series, including Monday's 117-111 triumph in Game 2, he apparently believes the Cavs are close to looking like a unit capable of a repeat.

"We're right there (near) what we know we can become and we'll figure it out", said a confident LeBron after Monday's win.

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving drives to the basket against the Pacers' Myles Turner in the first half.

James added 10 rebounds and seven assists while winning his 19th straight game in the first round. "We make plays down the stretch to win a ball game, and in the postseason that's all you can ask for".

The Pacers were led by 32 points from Paul George. With four seconds left on the clock, Miles made a decision to shoot the ball instead of passing it back to George, but the shot did not go in, resulting for the Pacers to lose by one point.

But fourth-quarter leads continue to be a problem for the National Basketball Association champions.

Cleveland appeared to be coasting to victory after opening up an 18-point lead at the end of the third quarter at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Love ended a ideal 12-of-12 from the free throw line en route to his final line of 27 points and 11 rebounds.

TYRONN LUE, Cleveland Cavaliers coach, bemoaning his team's habit of continuing to concede points in the fourth quarters of games. We wanted to get him the shot.

"It's playoffs, guys are playing a lot of minutes and they're competing", Lue said. I know (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has) got pedigree and I'm a young rookie, but they are not going to rook us. Defensively, we just didn't play that right. Of course, LeBron may also need to work out his own kinks, as he had 8 of Cleveland 19 turnovers in Game 2.

James was unfazed by the Pacers' fourth quarter fightback after the Cavs held on to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Iman Shumpert, who didn't play at all in Game 1, replaced Smith and scored five points.

"We were trying to cool off Kyrie", the coach said. "And he had that mindset, came in and executed, and it's hard to come off the bench right after halftime".

"I think just breaking down the film after Sunday's game just that between Tristan and myself and Channing, 'Bron, whoever was low on some of those pindowns and rotations, we just had to be there early", he said.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Pacers star Paul George is attacking critics of his recent postgame comments.

"He's got to learn to control himself and be in the moment", George said. We know that the Cavs can sustain this defensive pressure against opposing teams, but they must do it for four quarters.

Cavaliers: James (357) jumped Magic Johnson (358) for third place in career playoff steals and hopped Robert Parish for eighth in rebounds.

  • Julie Sanders