Cavs hold off Pacers in Game 2

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With their renewed effort on the defensive end of the floor and their lively shooting on offense, the Cavaliers built an early lead going into halftime.

Indiana Pacers' Paul George, right, drives past Cleveland Cavaliers' Iman Shumpert, left, and Tristan Thompson in the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Cleveland.

This year it seems that George won't be able to overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers, not just because of James and the rest of the Big Three (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love), but because of his inability to step up as the leader of the Pacers in crucial game-time situations. Cleveland outscored IN in each of the first three quarters, and entered the fourth quarter with a sizable 18-point lead. LeBron James-though irresponsible with the ball-impacted the game in all areas, especially on defense with four steals and four blocks. The Cavs are finding their groove. We all know that Lance is an emotional guy. "We'll figure it out".

In the end, the Cavaliers picked up the intensity when it mattered most and James, a three-times National Basketball Association champion and four-times league Most Valuable Player, is choosing to stay focused on the positives rather fret about almost blowing another lead. You really don't like Indiana's chances right now.

"We're right there", said Cleveland forward LeBron James, who was strong again in Game 2 with 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. USA Today's Sam Amick reported that George is "determined" to go to his hometown Los Angeles Lakers if he leaves the Pacers.

The Indiana Pacers were in both of the first two games, and now things should get a bit more interesting with the Cavs attempting to close out on the road.

Paul George led the Pacers with 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. At one point during the fourth quarter, the cameras picked up a shot of Indiana Coach Nate McMillan was seen telling Stephenson that he needed to calm down, and it was obvious to anyone watching that Stephenson was gurgling with frustration. After the game, he seemed very much like a man who is exhausted of toiling away on a middling team.

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In the third quarter, Cleveland took advantage of a mismatch underneath and pounded the ball inside to Love, who scored 10 straight and drew a charging foul on Lance Stephenson in a span of two minutes as the Cavs opened an 89-70 lead. "And that was big".

Now, they're heading home in a hole they still believe they can climb from. "You have so many games coming at you so fast, so you have to have a quick memory, win or loss, and try to be better the next game".

Should Smith, who had just nine points on 3-for-7 shooting over the first two games, be unable to go, it won't be the first time the former New York Knicks teammates have flipped roles in Cleveland due to injury.

Following Indiana's 117-111 loss Monday night and facing a 0-2 deficit, George fired shots at Lance Stephenson and Myles Turner. He also dropped a 3-pointer and gave Cleveland energy.

San Antonio led for all but 13 seconds in winning its 10th consecutive postseason game over Memphis. "We have to keep that up every single night". "He gave us great minutes".

Leonard finished 9 for 14 from the field and was 19 for 19 on free throws.

A number of questionable shots and breakdowns on defence by Cleveland allowed IN to make a late charge, but none of this seems to concern the player carrying the team's title hopes.

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