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

LeBron leads Cavs comeback, Spurs beaten

LeBron leads Cavs comeback, Spurs beaten

Kyrie Irving scored 37 points while Kevin Love added 27 and James had 25 as the Cleveland Cavaliers avoided another 4th-quarter collapse in Game 2 of their National Basketball Association playoffs, beating the Indiana Pacers 117-111 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Forcing him to defer to Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson or Iman Shumpert gives IN the best chance to win, and they suit up for Game 3 at home on Thursday night. It's not exactly a "take your pick" situation, but the East has other teams that can get it done in a seven-game series. He scored 36 points, grabbed a playoff career-high 15 rebounds and finishing with nine assists, one short of his second postseason triple-double.

The 74 first-half points are the Pacers's most this season, surpassing the 68 they scored in the first half on April 8 at Orlando.

The announcement comes as James and his Cavaliers are in the midst of the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs in a bid to retain the team's world championship crown. Without a true center on the court, James took control of the boards, and even with Williams technically manning the point guard, James controlled the ball, running the offense, methodically wearing the Pacers down. James also moved up to third on the playoff all-time scoring list and fourth on the playoff three-pointer list.

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. That, too, has gotten worse in the playoffs against the Pacers, rising to 1.25 and 71.1 percent, respectively.

IN is 5-0 ATS in its last five games. James answered with a layup out of a timeout and the Cavs never trailed again.

The Cavaliers are hoping to win both games to be played this weekend against the Pacers, which would give them their third consecutive first-round playoff sweep. They have a top-10 player in Jimmy Butler, they have championship experience with Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo and the Bulls managed to sweep their four games against the Cavs in the regular season.

The Spurs were beaten by the Memphis Grizzlies 105-94 to see their Western Conference first-round series lead reduced to 2-1.

Game 4 is Saturday night. That might be as close as they get to winning a game in the playoffs, considering James simply doesn't lose in the first round. "We lost our poise and wasn't calm during that third quarter". As always, three-point shots were Cleveland's main weapon in the 117-111 victory over in, but it has to be noted that they had no more than seven offensive rebounds in Game 2.

Love led the way with 10 points and seven rebounds in the first quarter. He finished with five points in 20 minutes, but his contributions went way beyond the box score. He finished with 19 points and eight boards.

Before members of the media were allowed into the locker room following Monday night's game, Smith had already packed up and headed home.

For the first time on Wednesday, Smith, the Cavaliers' mostly misunderstood shooting guard, whose tattoos and hard-edged look mask his softer side, spoke in greater detail about his family's ordeal following the premature birth of his daughter, Dakota, in January.

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