The only score that matters is 2-0.
Never mind that the Cleveland Cavaliers almost blew another late double-digit lead in their 117-111 Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers to go up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference first-round series. The Spurs nearly blew a 26-point lead, but they were able to fend off the run by the Grizzlies that involved several shady calls by the officials.
That's now 19 straight opening-round wins for the National Basketball Association team led by LeBron James. The Cavs are finding their groove.
"We all know Lance is an emotional guy and a lot of it is just his heart and his competitiveness that emotion comes out", George went on to tell reporters. "We're right there of what we know we can become, and we'll figure it out". But George is still showing out, with 18 points on 6-9 shooting and two 3s. "The energy really picked up on the defensive end, it dictated what we were doing on the offensive end and from there we never really looked back and it was a good third quarter for us".
James (25 points and 10 rebounds) and Love (27 and 11) each had double-doubles in the win.
The Pacers, who shot.512 from the floor (43-for-84), scored 24 points off 19 Cleveland turnovers, but the Cavs, who shot a sizzling.553 from the field (42-for-76), survived.
The Cavaliers are only sort of playing the Indiana Pacers in their first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers.
For Indiana, George led the way with 32 points while Jeff Teague weighed in with 23 points and Thaddeus Young 16. The big man averaged 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game in the regular season.
Cavs guard J.R. Smith did not return for the second half because of a left hamstring injury.
The third quarter was particularly fruitful for the Cavaliers as they took advantage of a mismatch down low feeding Love in the post - who netted 10 straight points and drew a charge in a run of just two minutes.
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"I thought we lost our composure and got frantic out there", McMillan said of his team's third-quarter problems.
Stephenson guarded Kevin Love in the third quarter, a matchup Stephenson couldn't handle. "And that was big". "If they're going to play small like that, Kevin should dominate", Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said.
"We know what's at stake", C.J. Miles said.
James shrugged off the late collapse, just as he did when the Cavaliers squeaked past the Pacers by a point in game one when a buzzer beater from Pacers' guard CJ Miles missed.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Memphis. "We have to keep that up every single night".
Love hit a pair of shots and all six of his free-throw attempts over a two-minute stretch that helped the Cavaliers balloon the lead to 19, 89-70.
Leonard attempted more free throws than Memphis had as a team, which infuriated Fizdale.
James is already fourth in career playoff minutes played, just behind legends Tim Duncan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant.
"If they let me play, I'll play", he said. That's unacceptable. That's unprofessional. "Got into a good rhythm with that, a number of guys stepped it up throughout the game, these guys took over in the fourth quarter".
Kyrie Irving, right, had 37 points as the Cavaliers won their 10th straight first-round game over the past three seasons.