Cavaliers seem determined to keep games interesting, like it or not

  • Cavaliers seem determined to keep games interesting, like it or not

Cavaliers seem determined to keep games interesting, like it or not

Never mind that the Cleveland Cavaliers almost blew another late double-digit lead in their 117-111 Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers to go up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

"He has got to learn to control himself", George said. "He's got to learn to just be in the moment".

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.

"His body language has to improve, just for the team". I know that we swept them, but they took us. A lot of it is his heart and competitiveness. Love went to work against Stephenson in the third quarter for most of his field goals, but Irving made everything work for him on isolations.

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving, right, drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) in the first half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Cleveland.

The problem isn't that the Indiana Pacers don't know what they need to do when the Cleveland Cavaliers trap Paul George.

"We've got to take care of the basketball", Lue said.

Despite all the woes, the Pacers are just -7 for the series, but at 0-2, are looking less at making a statement and more at not letting it become a sweep.

"We know what's at stake", C.J. Miles said. Hats off to them, they played well. In this one, Lance Stephenson was matched up against the much taller Kevin Love in the third, and Love responded by going on a personal 10-0 run as the Cavaliers continued to exploit the mismatch as long as the Pacers stayed with it. Irving added 14 points of his own in the period, and Cleveland's lead ballooned to as many as 19 points. Kyrie Irving had a monster game with 37 points, two rebounds and two assists.

George has played at an All-NBA level in the first two games of the series, averaging 30 points, six rebounds, and seven assists per game on 48% shooting, 55% from three.

"In situations like that, I got to get the last shot", George said. "I think we just have to do it ourselves". IN is 0-9 when dropping the first two games in a series.

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.

George led IN in points (32), rebounds (8) and assists (7) on Monday, which brought his series averages to 30.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists while he shot 48.7 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from 3. Harden also had nine assists and seven rebounds, and Patrick Beverley had a playoff career-best 21 points along with 10 rebounds for the Rockets. The shape of this series has been to see every missed shot be a heartbreaking one when looking at the lack of explosiveness around him.

Even Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue praised Love for doing the little-big-things, saying that it could have gone either way, but Love doing the little things was the difference maker that favored Cleveland with the victory.