George insists comments were intended to motivate Pacers

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

When the final horn sounded, the Cavaliers inexplicably pulled out the win 119-114. If the Pacers don't get their act together soon they will be out of the playoffs rather quickly. "And we don't push the ball every single possession when we get a chance".

A three-pointer on the buzzer from Kyrie Irving handed Cleveland a 96-78 lead heading into the fourth quarter, an 18-point cushion.

Turnovers: 18 (James 8, Irving 4, Thompson 3, Love 2, Smith).

Lue might be on to something about fatigue.

The shot selection shows something similar. They played the same way with a lead in the fourth quarter in the first two games of the series at Quicken Loans Arena, but both times they were able to hang on to win. Cleveland had just two assists in the period.

In the third quarter, Cleveland took advantage of a mismatch underneath and pounded the ball inside to Love, who scored 10 straight and drew a charging foul on Lance Stephenson in a span of two minutes as the Cavs opened an 89-70 lead.

But Randolph scored 11 points in the second quarter, and the Grizzlies carried a 50-46 lead into halftime.

"We're playing some really, really good basketball", said James.

"Shump was unbelievable", Lue said. He missed three months with a fractured right thumb and was visibly frustrated by the latest setback when he returned to the bench after the third quarter started. "Just staying ready, being professional, he did a great job on Paul George". And then he traded the wrong player. Or is the defense locked in because shots are falling and there's more gusto on the other end? Every time he has a bad game, which is a rarity, some wine and gold fans and fans across the National Basketball Association continually re-converse about the trade that sent Love to Cleveland for then-rookie Andrew Wiggins, a conversation that should have stopped before it even started, but who am I to say.

Leonard finished 9 for 14 from the field and was 19 for 19 on free throws. Earlier in the game Love had taken a forearm to the face, the result of George trying to use Love as a launch pad. "We were moving, we were flying around and we were communicating on coverages and allowed us to have that third".

"He's got to learn to control himself and be in the moment", George said after the 117-111 defeat.

John Wall and the Washington Wizards look as if they are on a mission.

He was, quite easily, the best player on the court and shots began to fall from everyone around him. "We needed it. We needed that energy from him".

However, the Cavs are not a good defensive team.

Irving now has even more confidence that he can create for himself or a teammate at will, so the Pacers have to put more pressure on him and make his life more hard, or this series won't last long.

"In situations like that, our guys are free to speak and talk about situations like that", coach Nate McMillan said. "We take away some of these easy baskets we're giving up, and these games might be a little different. My guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game, and they did not even give us a chance". Even when we're down big. "When they made a run offensively, we tried to get it back ourselves, but we just lost our poise".

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