Cavs' J.R. Smith questionable for Game 3 with sore hamstring
Apr 21 2017 by Marjorie Miles
"To win in the fashion we did tonight is even tougher".
But not for LeBron James, who added another chapter to his legend Thursday night, contributing 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, helping the reigning National Basketball Association champion Cleveland Cavaliers rally from a 26-point deficit to stun the Indiana Pacers 119-114 in Game 3 of their opening-round Eastern Conference playoff series. "Then we took the ball right at them and got back in the game".
"It was someone that I always knew I had to be in the gym". We're going in there and trying to extend this and it will show if you're not playing with that mindset. One thing I do know is that we had a huge half-time deficit and were able to come back and win the game. "Great for us. Ty Lue looked at both of us and asked us if we were prepared and ready, and I shook my head yes".
James nailed a three-point shot in the first half to give him 13 for the game and 5,641 for his playoff career, passing Kobe Bryant for the third spot in postseason scoring.
The Grizzlies forced seven turnovers while outscoring the Spurs 34-19 in the opening 16 minutes of the second half.
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James scored 41 points and added 13 rebounds, 12 assists and two blocks as the Cavaliers overcame a 25-point halftime margin in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
"Here we are up (25) to start the second half and a chance to put our foot on their throat and we came out relaxed", George said, via Nate Taylor of the Indy Star. With his team rolling behind James' brilliant play, it was a decision that he said was hard but one that was encouraged by Irving and Love. They were playing great, I don't think we were making them uncomfortable, I don't think we were being physical with them.
However, if the Pacers don't do a better job on the defensive end, there might not be no saving them. IN scored 37 points in the first quarter, falling just short of a season high (39), then matched that 37 in the second quarter for its highest first-half total of the season. But the night belonged to point guard Kyrie Irving, who drilled 37 points on 14-for-24 shooting including 4-of-10 from 3-point range. And now the Cavaliers are just one win away from sweeping the Pacers and moving on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Never mind the blown fourth-quarter leads.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of the Cavaliers' comeback for the Pacers was Irving and Love didn't play a single minute in the fourth quarter. IN finished the first half with a 74-49 lead.
An outpouring of Love decided Game 2 between the Cavaliers and Pacers.
After Cleveland cut the deficit to 77-62 and then watched IN extend the margin to 20, Cleveland finished the quarter on a 17-4 run to make it 91-84. A game where he just will not let the team lose.