Cavs avoid collapse, hold off Pacers

20 April, 2017, 08:56 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Shumpert sparks Cavs after Smith hurts hamstring in Game 2

During Saturday's first 2017 playoff game in the National Basketball Association, a close matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers ended with a missed buzzer beater.

Kevin Love ended the game with a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. James knocked down 12 of his 20 shots from the field, including two of his three looks from three-point range.

With Lance Stephenson guarding him late in the third quarter of Game 2, nary a possession passed where the 28-year-old didn't touch the ball on the block as he grounded and pounded his way to eight points in less than two minutes while stretching his team's lead to 17.

"I think we put Paul on Kyrie [Irving], and Lance went to Love", McMillan said.

Undoubtedly, the first provocation wasn't delivered by the Clippers, who are down 1-0 to the Jazz in the best-of-seven series that resumes Tuesday night at Staples Center.

The victory came at a cost for Cleveland however, with guard J.R. Smith limping off with a hamstring injury.

Going under and not switching these screens would force the Cavs to read and react, and quick decisions can frequently lead to turnovers.Putting in these wrinkles on D may or may not work, but the Pacers cannot count on the Cavs missing 13 free throws (game 1) or 18 3s (game 2) every game of the series.

Coming to a young Los Angeles Lakers organization in 2018 as a free agent under new president of basketball operations Magic Johnson would be the best move for Paul George at this stage in his career.

"We know what's at stake", CJ Miles said. Cleveland's more predictable offense made defense easier for the Pacers, who got stops more consistently than they did all game.

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Barring a remarkable turnaround in which the Pacers beat the LeBron and the Cavs four times in five games, George and company are looking at another first-round exit.

"He had that mindset, came in and executed", Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. I was hoping it would go the right way. "But we're right there on turning the switch on what we really can become". "We needed that spark".

"He's got to learn to control himself and be in the moment".

"We all know that Lance is an emotional guy".

With a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, the Cavs locker room was upbeat. "His body language has to improve". "A lot of it is just his heart and his competitiveness, but he's just got to channel that, and put it towards making effort plays on the court".

The all-star made a few comments after the game that had national media outlets calling him "selfish".

Smith may be struggling and inconsistent on the offensive end, but during the first two games of the series, he has been an important part of the defense. Though looking at the box score indicates he wasn't as vital of a factor as the previous game, Thompson won the matchup again and essentially took Turner out of the game as a scoring threat.

Kerr said he expects Durant to return quickly, but stressed no risks would be taken with the superstar, who missed 19 games during the regular season with a knee injury.


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