Irving scores 37, Cavs hold on to beat Pacers 117-111

Irving scores 37, Cavs hold on to beat Pacers 117-111”

That's because the Cavs have a 12-0 record in series when taking a 2-0 lead in the postseason.

J.R. Smith was on the floor for 19 minutes of Monday's Game 2 win over the Pacers, but scored just three points in the 117-111 victory.

Game three is on Friday morning (AEST).

Kevin Love (27) and LeBron James (25) got their side home 117-111 after nearly blowing an 18-point lead in the final term when the Pacers inched to within four.

James added 10 rebounds and seven assists, but had eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers.

Paul George had 32 points to pace IN once again, with 14 coming IN a fourth quarter that saw the Pacers outscore the Cavs 33-21 and get as close as a four-point deficit with 19.5 seconds left to play.

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The home team began the second half with a 7-0 run to increase the lead to 12 points.

Irving ended the period by draining a 3-pointer over Stephenson and the All-Star made sure Indiana's antagonizing guard knew about it, yapping in his direction long after the horn sounded.

"Our mindset is how to help each other, we can't worry about if they're losing their composure", James said. The Spurs' Manu Ginobili played the second half of Game 1 after getting a small cut under his left eye late in the first half. "He came in and made it tough on Paul George and made a couple shots for us also. He hit a couple of shots and just brought a tenacity to the court that we needed".

"He's got to learn to control himself". "He's got to learn to just be in the moment". "Lance is, in our locker room, is looked upon as a leader". "A lot of it is just his heart and his competitiveness", George said. Every negative play makes him visibly angry, and it doesn't get much worse than a LeBron dunk against his team on the road. While McMillan was able to successfully move Glenn Robinson III into the rotation in his return from injury, his short term positive play (four points in nine minutes) was well less than Monta Ellis, who had two points in 25 minutes. Love had averaged 11.1 rebounds per game in the regular season but had only four in Game One. He's been out since March 26 with a sprained left ankle.

Against Indiana, there was a concerted effort to exploit Love's mismatch against the foul-prone Stephenson, and it led to the team's best quarter of the series. He needs 37 points to pass Kobe Bryant (5,640 points) for third place in National Basketball Association playoff scoring history, and needs two more rebounds to pass Robert Parish (1,765 rebounds) for eighth in postseason history.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said pulling Smith out before the start of the third quarter was a "smart thing for him".

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