The Cavs claimed a 119-114 win over the Pacers, overcoming a huge half-time deficit to take a 3-0 lead in the series. I know (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has) got pedigree and I'm a young rookie, but they are not going to rook us.
"No, because we're right there".
The bottom line is another win though and despite concerns over another fourth-quarter lead nearly being blown, James was encouraged by his team's performance.
After beating the Indiana Pacers 117-111 on Monday night in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, the Cleveland Cavaliers are feeling pretty good about themselves.
The Cleveland Cavaliers held off a late rally from the Indiana Pacers en route to their game 2 victory. Cleveland's backers have maintained it will figure things out once the games begin to matter, and that by ratcheting up the intensity and effort - not to mention any secret plans - things will change once the playoffs begin.
George led IN in points (32), rebounds (8) and assists (7) on Monday, which brought his series averages to 30.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists while he shot 48.7 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from 3. Earlier in the game Love had taken a forearm to the face, the result of George trying to use Love as a launch pad.
"I'm not even going to say it's our defense", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. He's got to be on the attack, or he's got to see the weak side or whatever it may be.
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There were plenty of moments from James and Irving that stirred the crowd into a frenzy.
For good measure, Love also took a charge - he appeared to take two others in the game but was called for blocks - as Cleveland took a 96-78 lead into the fourth. Love and James had 11 and 10 rebounds respectively as well. We have a chance to do something we all have been wanting to do all season, and that's to put together a four-quarter game.
But, in the third quarter, the Cavs switched everything off the pick-and-roll and only trapped George. Lance Stephenson tripped on a teammate's foot during one of Irving's patented crossover, but the effect was such that the crowd thought Irving had made him fall.
Irving then took his turn torching Stephenson with hard crossovers and step-back 3-pointers. "I think we get exhausted at times. Once we got some stops, we got our composure, and it gave us the momentum". "When they made a run offensively, we tried to get it back ourselves, but we just lost our poise". No team better defines the concept than that one, which rolled through the postseason on its way to a second straight title behind the combination of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, both of whom were at the peak of their powers as part of a devastating combination few teams in National Basketball Association history could match. Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving and Channing Frye each scored 13 points for Cleveland while Kyle Korver added 12. The Cavs were settling for 3s and weren't penetrating with the same vigor we've come to expect from guys like Kyrie Irving and James. As you can imagine, with a five-inch difference, that didn't go well. Still, it's doubtful there will be any serious consequences, at least not until the next round. He finished with 19 points and eight boards.
"We're right there of what we know can become", James said. "We're really close to what we can become".
"We have a chance to do something that we've all been wanting to do all season", James said.