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J.R. Smith Leaves Game 2 With Left Hamstring Injury

21 April 2017

I'd much rather have an 18-point lead than not have a lead at all. "We're right there where we know what we can become if we figure it out".

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

A number of questionable shots and breakdowns on defence by Cleveland allowed IN to make a late charge, but none of this seems to concern the player carrying the team's title hopes. And if they can't dig themselves out of an 0-2 deficit when the first-round series resumes in Indianapolis on Thursday night, George and in will be facing an elimination game Sunday.

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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. Shumpert quickly made his presence felt, guarding George on one end and hitting a 3 on another to cap a 7-0 run to start the third quarter that put the Cavs back up by 12.

It was an all-too familiar pattern for Cleveland, who had developed a habit of sacrificing fourth-quarter leads in the final stretch of the regular season - a habit they'll desperately want to shake. The Cleveland forward scored 10 consecutive points against love-sick Lance Stephenson and the Cavs opened a 19-point lead in the third quarter.

This is the first time that Love, Irving and James have all scored 25 points in the same playoff game. Such physical mismatches meant he had his way against the Pacers' interior defense, going on a tear late in the third quarter with a flurry of three throws. "And that was big". While ultimately I believe the team is best with C.J. Miles playing alongside Teague/George/Young/Turner, it might make more sense to elevate Glenn Robinson III. And they did not even give us a chance.

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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, April 17, 2017, in Cleveland. Guard Deron Williams briefly spoke to Smith, who has struggled with consistency after missing three months following surgery for a broken right thumb. With four seconds left on the clock, Miles made a decision to shoot the ball instead of passing it back to George, but the shot did not go in, resulting for the Pacers to lose by one point. "We needed that spark".

On the downside, the Cavs lost starting shooting guard J.R. Smith, who had just three points on 1-for-3 shooting in the first half after a six-point, 2-for-4 outing in Cleveland's one-point victory in Game 1, to a left hamstring injury.

It just got a lot harder. "We need Lance. He's a leader in the locker room and we feed off his energy".

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To compound matters, there's no recent macro-level evidence that teams are able to flip a switch and improve the team defense as a whole in the postseason.

J.R. Smith Leaves Game 2 With Left Hamstring Injury