CLEVELAND - After a 100-97 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in which the Cleveland Cavaliers needed 46 points from LeBron James to even their Eastern Conference first-round series, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue challenged the rest of the team to step up.
"I think if he was feeling something, he didn't show it and he played through it", Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "We've got to keep applying pressure and getting to the rim". "It allowed JG and Rodney to kind of get in and get settled into the game before their number was called, so I think it worked well for us tonight".
James' 46 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists led the way for the Cavs.
He scored the Cavs' first 16 points and single-handedly outscored IN in the first quarter 20-18.
Asked why Love didn't come back in, Lue said he thought the Cavs "had a good flow going".
They needed to change their fortunes quickly after being embarrassed and dominated by the Pacers in Game 1, and it was an all too familiar sign for the Cavaliers, who have struggled to find any form of consistency all season long. He had nine points on 3-for-8 shooting and 17 rebounds in Game 1. With Cleveland blitzing and crowding virtually every screen involving Oladipo, they allowed a whopping 62 points in the paint on Wednesday.
Now, the only remaining players from last postseason's team are James, JR Smith, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Kyle Korver. Game three of the first round series between the Cavs and the Pacers will shift to IN on Saturday. "It feels great to even this series up". With Oladipo off the floor, the Pacers didn't have an offensive answer to James. The x-rays came back negative, and he is expected to be ready for Game 3 on Friday.
Utah got off to a fast start in Game 1 but was unable to sustain the early lead. The Rockets won easily despite just 12 points from National Basketball Association scoring leader James Harden. The Pacers took a big shot from James, but didn't buckle. "We're very, very confident".
The Cavaliers are now 14-2 this year when LeBron's Game Score tops 30. Oklahoma City needs someone to step up with the game on the line.
Cavaliers: Improved to 40-0 when leading after three quarters. "Being strategic in the playoffs, if you tell your lineup, they can see what matchups they want to do and who's going to guard who, what matchups they want to guard", Lue explained.