In the eyes of his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates, power forward Kevin Love has put on an inspiring performance during the team's 117-111 Game 2 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday during the opening round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
Cleveland is two wins away from advancing to the conference semifinals, thanks to another hair-raising finish in which the Cavs overcame their overconfidence demons to send the Pacers back home again to in, down 2-0 in the series, thanks to the Cavs' 117-111 defense-optional victory.
James was unfazed by the Pacers' fourth quarter fightback after the Cavs held on to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
James scored 25 with 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and four blocks.
"We all know Lance is an emotional guy and a lot of it is just his heart and his competitiveness that emotion comes out", George went on to tell reporters.
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Kyrie Irving ripped the Pacers with 37 points, including a career-playoff-best 25 in the second half. Kevin Love contributed 27 points and 11 rebounds and was 12 of 12 from the foul line.
Stephenson - signed to a three-year deal late in the regular season and a major reason in is in the postseason in the first place, with the Pacers going 6-1 after he was added to the team - had a plus/minus of minus-7 in five minutes in the third quarter when Cleveland took control of the game.
However, Love knocked down two free throws and C.J. Miles was whistled for an offensive foul, thwarting the Pacers' comeback.
"I do feel like we let one slip away", McMillan said. "We're going to work with him". But not so much the (isolation) because we have good players who can do that. "It's our turnovers. We've got to take care of the basketball". He did have eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers. The big man averaged 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game in the regular season.
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Entering the third quarter, IN did not look like a team that was ready to compete.
Smith, who had a noticeable limp Monday, hopes to play Thursday.
"That's the reason we're in the position we're in", Harden said. "We're just doing a awful job of getting back and guarding people". "We didn't do that", Pacers coach Nate McMillan said, looking back at the Cavs' 109-108 win in Game 1 on Saturday.
The Pacers made a late run thanks to one of those defensive lapses we mentioned, but the Cavaliers sealed the victory with a nifty out of bounds play that led to an easy bucket for Irving, followed by a fierce rejection at the rim by James that helped to wrap things up. He missed, we won. Overall we shot ball in the paint 35 times and we had 15 free throws - for the game.
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