3 things we learned from the Cavs' Game 3 win

Hazel Gray
May 7, 2017

The Cavaliers scored the game's final six points with James contributing four of them.

Cleveland finished the season 7-1 against the Pacers, winning the last four with a defensive stand, a rare 25-point game from three players, the largest second-half comeback in playoff history and now James' knockout punch. James also was active in defense against the scorers of the Pacers. Teague scored 15 points and was the catalyst in the final spurt, including blocking one of James' shots.

Westbrook had a triple-double in the first half, making him just the second player in National Basketball Association history to record three consecutive playoff triple-doubles. The Pacers led 24-22 after one period. Of course, the King had an answer for that, too.

"Once again, we just had to weather the storm", said James, who made 13 of 25 field-goal attempts and added 10 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks. Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, JR Smith and Channing Frye all finished with 13 points each while Kyle Korver chipped in with 12 points, but the night belonged to LeBron James who dominated the game with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

Lance Stephenson led IN with 22 points, Myles Turner had 20, and Paul George finished with 15 on 5-of-21 shooting. The teams traded leads on each of the next four baskets, but after George's 3 with 5:15 to go gave IN a 104-103 lead, James scored on a layup that started a 12-5 run to seal it.

The Rockets have a chance to close out the series on Tuesday at home in Game Five.

"He brings energy and a passion, and I think somewhat of a toughness", IN coach Nate McMillan said of Stephenson, who was added to the Pacers roster on March 29.

George scored 23 of his team-high 36 points in the first half but did not score at all in the third quarter.

IN got back into the game with a 7-0 spurt early in the in the fourth, then methodically continued chipping away at the lead until Thaddeus Young tied the score at 100 with a short jumper and broke the tie on a tip-in with 1:31 left.

George and the Pacers won't give up in Game 4, sure to show some pride in front of their home fans. This is only the second time in Pacers franchise history that they have trailed a play-off series 0-3.

"Just like last game, we were using a lot of energy just to come back", Wade said.

But Cleveland passed its first real test without losing a game, and now the Cavaliers have time to fix the flaws. Cleveland has swept all eight series in which it has taken a 3-0 lead. Cleveland outscored IN 36-28 during the second period, getting 12 points from James and 12 from Williams.

Isaiah put up 33 points as top seeds the Celtics claimed back-to-back wins over the Bulls in Chicago. The Bulls themselves lost point guard Rajon Rondo indefinitely to a fractured thumb suffered in Game 2.

James got some help from Kyrie Irving, who added 28 points in the win.

Jimmy Butler carried the Bulls with 33 points and nine assists.

James delivered 28 second-half points as he took over the contest in the fourth quarter in front of a crowd of 18,100 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena.

Other reports by VgToday

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