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

Apr 20, 2017, 08:56
Close call: Irving scores 37, Cavs hold on to beat Pacers

Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a bout of fourth quarter jitters to take a grip of their National Basketball Association playoff series against Indiana Pacers on Monday as San Antonio Spurs seized control of its duel with Memphis.

James added 10 rebounds and seven assists while winning his 19th straight game in the first round.

Shumpert picked up a foul guarding George in his first 30 seconds on the floor before knocking down a 3-pointer from the corner, forcing in coach Nate McMillan to call time.

Paul George was terrific once again for the Pacers, leading his team with 32 point, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

However, the defending champions, following a pattern that began late in the regular season, almost gave away an 18-point lead in the 4th as the Pacers crawled within 4 in the final minute before Cleveland closed it out. It's our offence. I think we get exhausted at times. and we don't push the ball every single possession when we get a chance.

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.

With J.R. Smith forced to miss the rest of the game with a bad left hamstring, Tyronn Lue had to turn to Shumpert to be the next man up.

Maybe George was thinking about the heartbreaking finish to Game 1 on Saturday, when, after the Pacers pulled within a point of the Cavs, C.J. Miles clanked a mid-range jumper and Cleveland escaped with a victory. A precipitous switch isolates Channing Frye onto Paul George, who, with possession, is all but licking his chops.

The Indiana Pacers are trying to climb back into their playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and fans have the chance to show their support with rallies this week.

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"We know what's at stake", CJ Miles said.

Lue said he liked how Love attacked a mismatch. The Pacers need a lot of help other than just going back home, and I don't think the cavalry is coming. "We needed that spark".

"He's got to learn to control himself and be in the moment", George said after the 117-111 defeat.

"We all know that Lance is an emotional guy". In our locker room Lance is looked at as one of our leaders. The team practiced Wednesday afternoon at the Fieldhouse, with a long list of things that need to be improved.

George spent most of his postgame press conference detailing all the things his team is doing wrong in the series-"We're just doing a awful job of getting back and guarding people"-and calling out specific teammates".

Then, after Game 2, it was Stephenson that drew George's ire.

Although Smith has arguably had his worst season since his second season in the National Basketball Association in 2005-06, partially due to a thumb injury that forced him to miss half of the season, he has been and will be a big part of the reason why the Cavs are fighting to win back-to-back championships. His frustration likely runs deeper than two road losses in a first-round series against the defending champs.

"It's just a different level of brotherhood this time of year", Love said.