The Cavaliers started slowly in the opener and were beaten 98-80 by the Pacers, who snapped Cleveland's 14-game winning streak in first-round games and a 21-game winning streak by LeBron James in playoff-opening series. He said he was playing with pain in Game 3 before aggravating it further in the second half. No matter if you have home-court advantage or if you're starting on the road, that's the mindset you have to have. You don't win every game, obviously, but you come in with a mindset that every game is a must-win. After all, IN ended up stunning Cleveland 92-90 to go up 2-1 on the series.
The real mystery going forward isn't whether the Cavs' flagging offense will recover, because their whopping drop in 3-point shooting is nearly certainly a fluke. "I'm not about that", James said. "We've just got to do it". The struggles extend across the team, and there's not been any joy from deep except for Bojan on Friday-the Pacers shot a below-average 30.8% on threes on Friday, and of their 8 makes, Vic was the only one to contribute, going 1 for 8.
Love said he expects James to be a major contributor to a much better effort by the entire team.
What caused the early deficit is 10 first-half turnovers for the Pacers. We still had a chance to win. He brings toughness and that's been a problem last couple games.
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Asked about the status of the Love, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said, "He's good".
The Pacers looked to rebound back from their game two loss against the Cavaliers on Friday night. The crafty ball-handler had MRI scans taken on Saturday, with the results coming back negative. He is listed as questionable for Game 4 with back spasms.
IN defeated Cleveland 92-90 in Game 3 of a first-round playoff series at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, overcoming a 17-point halftime lead thanks to 30 points from forward Bojan Bogdanovic. What's more, James is 12-0 in first-round series during his career, and he's never needed a Game 7 to advance. He immediately went to the bench with 3:43 left in the game. The seven 3-pointers tied a franchise playoff record, also held by Reggie Miller twice, Chuck Person and Paul George.
Without Hill on the floor, the Cavs will now lean on Calderon, LeBron James and Jordan Clarkson to handle point guard duties. Starter Darren Collison and backup Cory Joseph played 528 minutes together in the regular season but just 15 in the first three games of this series.