Cavs open 2-0 lead over Pacers with 117-111 win

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue talks with Iman Shumpert in the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday

Blown big leads. Defensive breakdowns.

Kyrie Irving scored 37 points, Kevin Love added 27 and the host Cleveland Cavaliers avoided another fourth-quarter collapse in Game 2, beating the Indiana Pacers 117-111 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series. "We can't show our hand early because. these are some good teams and we don't want them to be able to come into a series and be able to adjust to what we do".

Lance Stephenson has tried to be that guy, be an emotionally leader off the bench.

James put up a near triple-double with 25 points, ten boards, seven assists to go along with four steals and four blocks.

The Pacers players know what to do, they simply aren't doing it. Give help on drives and close out on shooters - it isn't complicated, but it takes more focus and energy than IN is showing on that end of the floor so far. Jeff Teague scored 23 points, and Thaddeus Young contributed 16.

Cleveland appeared to be coasting to victory after opening up an 18-point lead at the end of the third quarter at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Despite a fortunate miss at the buzzer and constant lulls late in games, the Cleveland Cavaliers are up two games to none on the Indiana Pacers as this series heads to The Fieldhouse for the first time on Thursday night. They shot 18 times and had 32 free throws.

"What I saw was a true professional", LeBron James said of Shumpert, whose struggles late in the regular season led to his Game 1 benching.

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"I thought in the third quarter we just lost our composure", said Pacers coach Nate McMillan. "I've got to slow down and keep my composure".

"We have a chance of putting together a four-quarter game, which we've been trying to do all season", James said. "We've got to play hard". He did have eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers. A lot of the time, it's the sheer gravity of a nifty Kyrie Irving drive or LeBron James barreling inside that pulls the opposing defense in enough to free up space at the arc.

Up just five after a sloppy end to the first half, the Cavs scored the first seven points of the third period - the last on a 3-pointer by Shumpert - to go up 70-58. "If we do that, we're a very tough team to beat, so that will give us confidence".

Ultimately, the Pacers reaction to George's post-game comments will dictate how the rest of this series goes.

"He's got to learn to control himself and be in the moment", George said. We know exactly what we want to take away.

IN may be in too deep to make a comeback against LeBron, but how the team responds to this situation has big implications for the team even if the Pacers are facing certain elimination.

According to WKYC.com, even superstar LeBron James took notice and praised Kevin Love of his inspiring plays, saying that "Kevin's performance was huge because when you see your brother sacrificing his body like that, it automatically inspires you more to perform well and get the job done". It was a combination of poor communication, bad switches, and giving 3-point shooters too much space.

Outside of Tristan Thompson, who is a good defensive player, and James, who can be when he's locked in and motivated to be (which, understandably, is not all the time in his 14th year in the National Basketball Association at age 32) Cleveland regularly plays no one who can honestly be considered better than an average defender.

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