Game 3 Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

Apr 19, 2017, 01:49

Cleveland's Big Three of Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love combined for 89 points to steer the Cavaliers to a 117-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Tuesday (Philippine time) in their first round series in the NBA's Eastern Conference Playoffs.

George led the way for the Pacers with 18 first-half points, eight of which came in the second quarter. He did his damage from the free-throw line on a ideal 12-for-12.

In the first game between Pacers vs Cavaliers, the P. George (SF) has scored highest for his Pacers as 29 points, seven assists and five rebounds. L. Stephenson (SG) is the second man of Pacers, who scored 16 points, three assists, and seven rebounds. The second game between Indiana Pacers vs Cleveland Cavaliers is scheduled on April 17th night.

This loss comes back to the decisive third quarter though, where the Pacers just couldn't get anything to go, and the Cavaliers exposed them.

That matchup problem proved to be a turning point of the game.

From there, the Cavs benefited from two crucial calls, as Myles Turner was whistled while going for the inbound against Love and Iman Shumpert flopped into next week against C.J. They also have LeBron James, and James has never lost a first round series in his awesome career. It's the first time in his National Basketball Association career (regular and postseason) that James has recorded at least four steals and four blocks in a game.

But in this case, it was a combination of the opponent's scheme and Love being more assertive on his part.

"I just saw turnovers", Lue said.

Love did just that and McMillan may have regretted the gameplan afterwards.

But you can also imagine George - whose tussles with LeBron James used to arrive later in the playoffs, carrying genuine weight - attempting to take reality to task; trying to dunk all over the futility of his situation. "We lost our poise and weren't calm during that third quarter". If they let me play, then I'll play.

"They did a good job". They don't - they can't - get closer than that. No Cavs player has ever done that in a regular season game since 1973-74. Even worse, since the all-star break - a span of 27 games, in which the Cavaliers have gone 12-15 - they've been 29th, finishing just one tenth of a point ahead of the horrendous, tanking Lakers to avoid being the worst defensive team in the league over that stretch.

Similar to how Irving stepped up his defense late in Game 1, the increased effort on that end was another example of how everything is amplified for the Cavs now that the Playoffs are underway.

The defending champions shot 55.3 percent from the floor on 42-of-76 shooting, while knocking down 13 shots from 3-point range.

"We have so many pieces on this team, but everyone has to stay ready", Irving said of Shumpert's cameo.

"I thought we lost our composure and got frantic out there", McMillan said of his team's third-quarter meltdown.

While they might not be a 73-win team like last season, the off-season addition of Kevin Durant will definitely bolster the squad's chances if a series gets close.

Note: Glenn Robinson III played in his first game since March 26. "My guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game - and they did not even give us a chance", Fizdale told journalists.

We've seen flashes of it already in these first two games and in has struggled to deal with Cleveland's versatility on offense.