Sunday, 21 January, 2018

George insists comments were intended to motivate Pacers

Alfredo Watts | 21 April, 2017, 18:57

Bad shots. It means nothing to LeBron James. The Cavs have never lost a playoff series the previous 12 times they opened a 2-0 lead.

The Cleveland Cavaliers nearly blew a 16-point fourth quarter lead before getting their bearings back and beat the Indiana Pacers to take a 2-0 series lead on Monday night at the Quicken Loans Arena. With his team rolling behind James' brilliant play, it was a decision that he said was hard but one that was encouraged by Irving and Love. I have to wonder if we'll notice when the Cavs turn it on, or if this is what they are satisfied with.

He's gotta know at this point we need him to take it to the next level, and we'll continue to work with him. "We'll figure it out".

The reigning National Basketball Association champions appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win after opening up an 18-point lead at the end of the third quarter in front of their home fans at the Quicken Loans Arena.

"We're right there", said James, who also had 10 rebounds and seven assists. He did have eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers. While Jeff Teague added 23 points, four rebounds, and four assists.

Top seeds in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics trail the Bulls 2-0 ahead of a trip to Chicago for game three on Friday.

Coach Nate McMillan made a lineup change, inserting former Cavs player C.J. Miles into the starting rotation.

The Cavs vowed they would play better after their near-loss in Game 1 and they mostly backed up their talk, delivering the type of performance that was routine last season but rare in 2017.

George also called out second-year center Myles Turner, who finished with six points on just 3-for-10 shooting, five rebounds and three blocks last night. "It's our offense. I think we get exhausted at times". But by the end of the quarter, behind LeBron's 13 third quarter points, the Cavs' deficit was down to seven. "And that was big". The Cavaliers scored 70 points to just 40 for the Pacers in the second half.

Now, they're heading home in a hole they believe is not that deep. "Who's going to be disciplined enough to come out with the positive outcome". The 74 points was the most the Cavs ever allowed in one half of a playoff game.

Spurs' forward Kawhi Leonard pulled off a Herculean effort with 37 points and 11 rebounds; he was flawless from the free-throw line hitting all 19 attempts.

Game 3 is Thursday night in Memphis. "We have to keep that up every single night".

Leonard attempted more free throws than Memphis had as a team, which infuriated Fizdale.

"LeBron willed us in", Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said. The first thing Kevin and Kyrie said was, let them go. We wanted to get him the shot. That's unacceptable, that was unprofessional.

"We take away some of these easy baskets we're giving up, and these games might be a little different".