IN erased a 10-point deficit with nine minutes left in Game 1, and then in Game 2 cut the Cavs' 18-point lead after three quarters to four with 19.5 seconds left on a George 3-pointer.
Games can be won and lost at the free-throw line, especially in the NBA Playoffs. The Cavaliers won 117-111. The Hawks became only the third team in league history to overcome that margin in the final period and pull out a victory.
Smith said he wanted to go back into Monday's game, but the team held him out.
LeBron James led all scorers with 32 points to go with 13 assists and six rebounds. He was called for two blocking fouls that easily could have been charging fouls on the Pacers. As good as Blake Griffin was through the first three quarters, he went missing in the fourth, and J.J Reddick was nowhere to be seen for most of the night (7 points). Defensive breakdowns. Bad shots. LeBron James is a living legend.
Pacers at Cavaliers, Cleveland leads 1-0.
The 2016 National Basketball Association champion Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking to hold home court again as they take on the weaker Eastern Conference rival Indiana Pacers during game 2 of their first round, best of 7 playoff series. Memphis was outscored by 39 points in the 26 minutes its sixth man played. The Cavs are finding their groove.
"We're right there", James said after putting up 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists on Monday. "We'll figure it out". So, like I told you, I'd much rather have an 18-point lead than not have a lead at all. "We know how good LeBron is going to be and how good Kyrie is going to be, but the other guys we have to be able to limit". James scored 25 points and added 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and four blocked shots. He did have eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers, miscues that allowed the Pacers to hang around.
Game 2 is at 7 p.m. tonight at the Q before the series shifts to Indianapolis for games Thursday and Sunday.
Indiana Pacers Lineups: PG - Jeff Teague, SG - CJ Miles, SF - Paul George, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner. The talent gap is demonstrable, yet Game 1 was there for the taking in Cleveland.
Indiana's C Miles missed a wide-open jump shot at the buzzer after the Cavaliers, as they often did in the waning stages of the regular-season, let the game get complicated toward the end.
The Cavaliers led by 12 late in the third quarter and were ahead by 10 with 9:04 remaining. "And that was big". It's important that we do our assignments and execute them. However Smith's replacement, Iman Shumpert, impressed from the bench with five points.
Coach Tyronn Lue insisted that the team was ready to flip a switch come playoff time. "We needed that spark". "So it was just a moment in the game we took advantage of a certain situation and they kept feeding me". "Lance, in our locker room, is looked upon as a leader". The Cavaliers are undoubtedly among the best teams in the National Basketball Association - they have the rings to prove it. "A lot of it is just his heart and his competitiveness", George said. "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". "It's a chance for a clean slate - 0-0 - first one to win 16 games (is champion)".
They've previously squared off in the postseason when James was with the Miami Heat and before George suffered a horrific leg injury that threatened his career.
Their regular-season issues followed the Cleveland Cavaliers into the playoffs.
Gasol buried the shot and it killed off the Grizzlies' run. Stephenson had a strong workout with Cleveland in January before latching on with in, but coach Tyronn Lue said his recent injuries dissuaded the Cavs from signing him.
Pacers star Paul George finished with 29 points.
Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand.
He looked nervy early in today's game, and Jason Kidd reportedly had a chat with him to calm him down prior to the game.