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Close call: Irving scores 37, Cavs hold on to beat Pacers

19 April, 2017, 01:26 | Author: Iris Sanchez

After watching C.J. Miles hoist and miss the final and potentially game-winning shot in Game 1, George called Miles out. "It's hard to win playoff games like that". We don't take any possession for granted.

"Just hitting first. Engaging first", he said.

The Cavs vowed they would play better after their near-disaster in Game 1 and they backed up their talk, delivering the kind of performance that was routine last season but very rare in 2017. In Game 2, they had a 112.0 defensive rating, which is better, but also would have been the worst in the league over the course of the season. The Pacers explored trading George at the trade deadline amid rumors that he will likely leave as a free agent in 2018 if the Pacers aren't close to title contention.

"I thought we responded and gave ourselves a chance to win, but we came up short", coach Nate McMillan said. Power forward Thaddeus Young can't play 48 minutes.

SAN ANTONIO - Kawhi Leonard had a postseason career-high 37 points and added 11 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies 96-82 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

One thing that is working is doubling Paul George almost every time he touches the ball.

If George gets into a groove and if Turner can make himself a more helpful trap-beating threat, the Pacers could still make this interesting. "To save his legs and his energy so he's able to play offensively and do the things he does, J.R. took the challenge and did a great job".

Smith scored just three points in Game 2, but his assignment in the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series is to guard All-Star Paul George.

Lance Stephenson has energized the Pacers since his return, but sometimes he can do too much.

They forged into a 51-39 lead after a 16-2 run before the Pacers battled back to within five points as the half finished with the Cavs up 63-58. We sorta believed him, because the Cavs had a top-10 defense previous year and featured players with strong defensive reputations like Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert.

The Gregg Popovich coached Spurs were cruising and had a 26-point lead, but they let the Grizzlies back in to the game and early in the fourth quarter to lead by just four points.

IN also had major issues in the quarter with guard Kyrie Irving, who also erupted.

Tack on the fact that LeBron James has never lost a first-round series, is 45-7 lifetime in opening-round games and has won the last 18. He passed Mark Price for second place in the third quarter.

Cleveland leads IN 2-0 with the series heading to Indianapolis on Thursday. They had a super-secret defense (one that was actually good) that they would bust out when the going got tough. "As the series goes on and on, you start to learn more about the team, learn more about your opponent".

We all know how impossible LeBron can be for opposing defenses to deal with, but the help he has around him may be at its all-time best.

In the postseason, George leads in points with 29.0 and in assists with 7.0 per game. Only Jerry West (14) and Michael Jordan (15) had more.

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