Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Cavs take 2-0 lead vs Pacers

Cavs take 2-0 lead vs Pacers

They get too comfortable and let off the gas.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving walked through the hallways of Quicken Loans Arena towards the news conference room to meet with the media.

The Cavs spread the Love among their big three, leaving Larry Bird feeling no love.

James added 10 rebounds and seven assists while winning his 19th straight game in the first round. It was the first time in franchise history that three players scored at least 25 points in a playoff game.

Game 3 is Thursday at Indiana. The first 500 fans in attendance will get two free slices of pizza courtesy of Papa John's.

"I'm not a numbers guy but that doesn't seem to add up". "When it was his turn, he stepped up and played well".

"It's you guys writing us off that this game is going to be easy for the Cavs", said George, who had a team-high 32 points. He did have eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers.

"We believed that before we got here", says forward CJ Miles. He missed three months with a fractured right thumb and was visibly frustrated by the latest setback when he returned to the bench after the third quarter started.

The Cavs, however, aren't there yet. A three-pointer on the buzzer from Kyrie Irving handed Cleveland a 96-78 lead heading into the fourth quarter, an 18-point cushion.

When play resumed, Irving came totally free on a great baseline inbounds play and made a layup to put the Cavs up seven with 29.6 seconds left. They had a super-secret defense (one that was actually good) that they would bust out when the going got tough.

George, sounding nearly like the coach of the Pacers rather than a player, said Stephenson needs to control his emotions and keep his head in the game. "We're not doing anything aggressively". ESPN notes that at one point in the third quarter, Stephenson slammed the ball on the floor after the play was over.

During the early minutes of the first half, both the Cavs and the Pacers were exchanging shots, ending the first and second quarters with a closed score of 63-58 Cleveland lead.

From there the Cavs seemingly had Indiana's measure and an inspired cameo from Love, who scored 10 straight points, saw Cleveland jump out in front by 89-70. No team better defines the concept than that one, which rolled through the postseason on its way to a second straight title behind the combination of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, both of whom were at the peak of their powers as part of a devastating combination few teams in National Basketball Association history could match.

"Kyrie always tells me do your job", Love said after the game.

On the other hand, the San Antonio Spurs also did the same to the Memphis Grizzlies to get the same 2-0 lead in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Pacers have their backs against the wall and face a must-win Game 3.

"Maybe getting a little exhausted", Lue said.

"And we don't push the ball every single possession when we get a chance".

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or and follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

Paul George scored 32 and Jeff Teague 23 for IN, which showed more fight, but now has a steep hill to climb to get back IN the series. Totals 43-84 17-23 111.

Percentages: FG.512, FT.739. He managed just six points and five rebounds on Monday, hitting 3-of-10 shots from the field.

IN smells blood during the last 12 minutes, and Lance Stephenson and Paul George have been the driving forces behind the nail-biters.

Percentages: FG.553, FT.870.

Kevin Love ended the game with a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds.

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