Cavaliers Hold On To Take 2-0 Series Lead Against Pacers

CLEVELAND — LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love combined to score 89 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Indiana Pacers 117-111 to take a 2-0 series lead in the playoff first round.

Irving shot 14-of-24 from the floor for 37 points, Love ended with 27 points and 11 rebounds and James added 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and four blocks for the Cavaliers (2-0).

James, who turned the ball over three times in Game 1, had eight of Cleveland’s 19 turnovers in Game 2 on Monday night.

The defending champions shot 55.3 percent from the floor on 42-of-76 shooting, while knocking down 13 shots from 3-point range.

Paul George paced Indiana with 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the defeat.

Jeff Teague added 23 points and Thaddeus Young finished with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting with six steals for the Pacers (0-2), who return home for Game 3 on Thursday night.

Lance Stephenson chipped in with 13 points and four assists off the bench for Indiana, which shot 51.2 percent on 43-of-84 shooting.

George and Co. were hoping to steal a win on the road against the Eastern Conference No. 2 seed, but the world champions fended off the challenge of the visitors to move closer to sweeping the series.

The Cavaliers survived a fourth-quarter collapse on Saturday, to win Game 1 by one point, 109-108.

On Monday night, the Cavs led 109-91 with just over six-minutes remaining, but the Pacers scored 13 straight points to trim the deficit to five points with 2:28 left.

Meanwhile, Cavs guard J.R. Smith did not return for the second half of Game 2 after suffering a left hamstring injury.

Smith finished with three points on 1-for-3 shooting and one turnover in his 19 minutes of action.

“I wanted to play, they didn’t want me to play,” said Smith, who is determined to play in Game 3.

“If they let me play, I’ll play,” he noted. “My leg ain’t broke.”

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