"We wanted to get the ball out of (George's) hands, make somebody else try to beat us and live with the results", said LeBron James, who led all scorers with 32 points to go with 13 assists and six rebounds.
Paul George led the way for seventh-seeded IN with 29 points but had only four IN the fourth quarter.
"We won the fourth quarter which we needed to do to close this game out", George said. Lue said the rotation just didn't work to get him in to the game, as nine players saw action.
James refused to allow himself to consider the consequences if Miles, a notorious "Cavs killer" who has had several big games against his former team, had knocked down his shot.
Over the next few weeks - as few as two or as many as eight - we will find out if a good team not playing very well can suddenly "turn it on" when necessary. The playoffs are about adjustments and what you can do better.
Grizzlies at Spurs, San Antonio leads 1-0.
Game 2 is Monday in Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving contributed 23 points and six assists and Kevin Love finished with 17 points and four rebounds. We're likely going to see a Pacers team that lost some of their edge. "We believe in one another".
Any fan or foe of the LeBron James Gang can read that quote one of two ways, especially since the confounding Cavs entered the postseason on a four-game losing streak, their record since March 1 a somewhat troubling 10-14.
But, as usual, the Pacers couldn't contain James.
James again missed inside, and it became a one-point game when George split a pair of free throws.More news: Rodgers: Celtic could finish in Prem's top four
James missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left and the Pacers had the ball out of a timeout. Lue said nerves were not a problem the night before the opener. "He's always focused and that's just who he's been since I've been around him". Cavs win game two 110-94.
Gobert sprained his left knee on the game's first play when he banged knees with Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute, leaving the Jazz without their 7-foot-1 center who averaged 14.0 points and 12.8 rebounds during the regular season.
The Cavs survived from there, with Tristan Thompson contributing eight points and 13 rebounds and Channing Frye adding 11 points off the bench. We have to establish our defense right from the start. "But no matter what happened, we came out with the win". James recorded a triple double and scored 41, while George carried his team in the two overtimes and finished with 43 points.
Cleveland is now 25-4 against Eastern Conference opponents in the playoffs since James' return.
That stiff breeze that blew through downtown Cleveland just after 5:35 Saturday afternoon happened to be a huge exhale that emanated from Quicken Loans Arena. "That's what it comes down to". The Cavaliers led by 5 points after the first quarter and 7 points at halftime; 66-59.
Finding the reason the Cavs can't hold onto a lead is hard. I just thought if we got to those 50/50 balls and the offensive rebounds that it'd have been a totally different game. "I'm happy with the energy and the effort".
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephenson finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, scoring 10 of those in a six minute stretch early in the fourth to push in back to within two possessions. Totals 40-81 17-20 108.
Percentages: FG.494, FT.850.
The Pacers trailed 92-84 at the start of the fourth quarter, but remained in striking distance with Jeff Teague, George and Stephenson leading the way. He pulled down 5 rebounds and handed out 13 assists.
Percentages: FG.538, FT.519. As soon as he got the ball he should have driven on J.R. Smith.