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Cavs avoid collapse, hold off Pacers

Cavs avoid collapse, hold off Pacers

The game began with a flurry - the Cavaliers, led by LeBron James and Kevin Love in the first quarter looked much more active on the defensive end of the floor, trapping Paul George to cause him to have to give up the ball to his cohorts.

Irving led all scorers with 37 points. "But at the same time, I've got to have trust for my teammates". Clearly, this team isn't complete and they've largely met expectations, which were middling from the start.

"He's got to learn to control himself and be in the moment", George said after the 117-111 defeat. He ended with 20 (all second half) minutes.

Iman Shumpert saw his first action of the series starting the second half in place of JR Smith, who left the game at halftime with a left hamstring injury. Shumpert, in just one half of play, played with incredible energy as he switched onto Paul George. The Blue and Gold clawed their way back in Game 2 after facing a double-digit deficit but again couldn't get the win. I haven't seen Shumpert play lockdown defense like that on an opposing player in months. A quality Shumpert adds something invaluable to this team, and they will be set if he can keep it up. "We know that this is going to be a physical battle for us, a team that is going to throw different lineups, play big, play small and bring that physicality to Round 1". My guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game.

"I think we put Paul on Kyrie [Irving], and Lance went to Love", McMillan said.

"But he did a great job". Irving would, at the end of the quarter, hit a three in the face of Stephenson to put the finishing touches on a horrendous night for him. I'll let this video do the talking for me.

Leonard attempted more free throws than Memphis had as a team, which infuriated Fizdale. He was taking charges, making putbacks, getting clutch rebounds and the Cavs' fans and crowd loved it! It reminded me of former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown putting Delonte West on Hedo Turkoglu.

Before the playoffs started, Stephenson said, "the fun time is over", referencing some of the antics he's pulled in the past, such as blowing in LeBron James' ear. He still had costly turnovers, but he was more efficient with his passing, and he was more aggressive penetrating to the basket. Indiana's All-Star made it clear after Game 1 he needs to take the last shot. He came within three assists of another triple-double.

NEED TO KNOW: James has won 18 straight games in the first round and Cleveland has won 12 in a row at home in the postseason. After coughing it up 11 times in Game 1, leading to 19 points for in, the Cavs had 11 turnovers in the first half Monday and the Pacers scored 14 points off of them. They can get the sweep with wins on Wednesday and Friday.

Cleveland didn't practice on Tuesday, choosing the first of two days off before Thursday's Game 3 at Indianapolis for rest and treatment.

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