Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

LeBron James helps Cavs erase record playoff halftime deficit

They were able to make it somewhat closer thanks to a fourth quarter performance where they outscored the Cavaliers 33-21. The Pacers are not struggling to score through the first two games of this series as it is their defense that is killing them.

The Cleveland Cavaliers nearly blew a 16-point fourth quarter lead before getting their bearings back and beat the Indiana Pacers to take a 2-0 series lead on Monday night at the Quicken Loans Arena.

However, the defending champions, following a pattern that began late in the regular season, almost gave away an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter as the Pacers cut the margin to four in the final minute before Cleveland closed out the game at the foul line. Cavs need to find their best form in the National Basketball Association play-offs if they are to retain the title, but that is easier said than done.

"Myself and Kyle, we kind have been brainstorming about it, how to get it to be more efficient", said James of working with Korver after Game One.

"We're right there of what we know we can become, and we'll figure it out". Coach Popovich probably didn't have much to say to his team as they hit the ground running and jumped out to lead by 56-37 at halftime before holding off a late charge in the second half. While Smith's feature emphasizes what we "saw", this will focus on what to look for in the night's upcoming games.

James added 10 rebounds and seven assists, but had eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers.

James scored 41 points while padding his postseason resume with yet another triple-double, leading defending champion Cleveland back from a 25-point halftime deficit to a 119-114 victory over the Pacers on Thursday night.

The Indiana Pacers had the Cleveland Cavaliers knocked to the floor, having played their best 24 minutes of basketball in quite some time. During a two and a half-minute stretch late in the third quarter, Love scored 10 points without missing a shot from the field or the free-throw line, and drew four fouls-three of them on Stephenson. "And that was big".

"Sometimes when you're matching up to them and you're going small, their small lineup is better than your small lineup, so you have to be careful with that", Pacers coach Nate McMillan said after the game.

It just got a lot harder. Cavs G Kyrie Irving entered Game 2 with 800 playoff points, third most in Cavs history. "We know we've got an opportunity to clamp down and make baskets and get ourselves back in the game".

Pacers: Glenn Robinson III returned after missing the past 12 games with a strained left calf. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. C Al Jefferson was active, but didn't play. Only Magic Johnson, with 30, has more. George also finished with 15 rebounds and nine assists. Last year, Cleveland was 10th.

Cleveland is 1-5 ATS in its last six games.

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 spurt to make it 91-84. This was just the sixth start for Randolph, who had 19 double-doubles off the bench during the regular season.

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"Obviously, he's one of the better - I think him, Kawhi and probably Tony Allen are the best on-ball defenders in the league", Smith added.

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