LeBron James finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers set an National Basketball Association postseason record by erasing a 25-point halftime deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers 119-114 on Thursday night and take a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round series.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in Indianapolis.
Kevin Love ended the game with a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds.
The Cavs will lose a series if James doesn't get any help, but Kyrie Irving seems to be in playoff form, scoring 37 points on 14-of-24 shooting in Game 2.
Paul George had 32 points to pace IN once again, with 14 coming IN a fourth quarter that saw the Pacers outscore the Cavs 33-21 and get as close as a four-point deficit with 19.5 seconds left to play. Kyrie Irving had a monster game with 37 points, two rebounds and two assists.
Love scored 10 straight and drew a charging foul on Lance Stephenson in a span of two minutes as the Cavs opened an 89-70 lead.
James was unfazed by the Pacers' fourth quarter fightback after the Cavs held on to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. "We're really close to what we can become".
The other hitch for Cleveland was that starting guard J.R. Smith didn't play in the second half because of a left hamstring injury.
Paul George was able to get anything he wanted on the perimeter and within the paint.
If George is unhappy and the Pacers can't make it out of the first round, the front office may have to have an honest discussion about trading George before he bolts when he gets the chance.
Barring a remarkable turnaround in which the Pacers beat the LeBron and the Cavs four times in five games, George and company are looking at another first-round exit.
"He makes a lot of plays for this team", Lue said.
The Cavaliers have built double-digit leads in the second half of both games, only to let the Pacers back in late. Lance, in our locker room, is looked upon as a leader, so his body language has to improve. The last time the Cavs won against the Bulls was February 18, 2016. We all know that Lance is an emotional guy. "He's just got to channel that and put it towards making effort plays on the court and do whatever he needs for us to succeed". The Pacers have their backs against the wall and face a must-win Game 3. "That was just a moment in the game that we took advantage of a certain situation and they kept feeding me".
"I would say yes, but the way people have been guarding us, no", Smith said.
It was an all-too familiar pattern for Cleveland, who had developed a habit of sacrificing fourth-quarter leads in the final stretch of the regular season - a habit they'll desperately want to shake. "I trust the guys on that floor, but I just thought - you know, I watched it kind of unravel - that's when I should have stepped in and demanded the ball a little bit more", he said.