Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - 4/20/17 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

The Pacers find themselves in a 0-2 hole as they fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-111 in Game 2 of their first-round series.

Game three is in Indianapolis on Thursday (Friday AEST).

LeBron James registered 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and four blocks on the evening. Kevin Love dropped 27 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving had a game-high 37 points in 34 minutes of action. "Everybody knows how close I am with my teammates and I said that only to motivate my teammates to win this series and win a championship".

Irving top scored with 37 points for the Cavs as the big three stepped up.

Even with George staking his claim to the "Best player in the East not named LeBron" conversation, there's nothing the Pacers can do to simultaneously handle Tristan Thompson's offensive rebounding, Love's natural inside-outside game, and James's lethal combination of off-the-dribble strength to the hoop and pinpoint distribution. We make plays down the stretch to win a ball game, and in the post season that's all you can ask for.

The all-star finished with 32 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the loss but still is in desperate need of some assistance.

George, who had just four points in the decisive third period, led in with 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Jeff Teague, who was getting X-rays on his right wrist after the game, had 23 points. "They're going to score".

"I thought we lost our composure and got frantic out there", McMillan said of his team's third-quarter meltdown. "Once we get over the screen, it's an isolation and they've been hitting shots".

That's now 19 straight opening-round wins for the National Basketball Association team led by LeBron James.

The victory came at a cost for Cleveland however, with guard J.R. Smith limping off with a hamstring injury.

"We're right there on turning the switch on what we really can become". Iman Shumpert, who sat the opener, replaced Smith and played 20 solid minutes.

"We have so many pieces on this team, but everyone has to stay ready", Irving said.

"He had that mindset, came in and executed, and it's hard to come off the bench right after halftime". I know (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has) got pedigree and I'm a young rookie, but they are not going to rook us.

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.

Afterwards, both coaches admitted the start of the third quarter was the key between this game becoming a blowout and the Cavs getting right back into it. "We take away some of these easy baskets we're giving up and these games might be a little different".

This loss comes back to the decisive third quarter though, where the Pacers just couldn't get anything to go, and the Cavaliers exposed them. He made some big plays for us and that's a step in the right direction of being a consummate professional, especially being on a team like this.

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