"Shump was unbelievable", coach Tyronn Lue said.
When Indiana got stops, they pushed the tempo and exploited the Cavaliers' transition defense. George, who is 0 for 14 in his career on potential go-ahead baskets in the final 20 seconds according to basketball-reference.com, wanted Miles to pass the ball back to him.
The Cavs scored 21 points in the fourth period, going 7-of-18 from the field and 1-of-6 from 3-point range. Bad shots. None of it means anything to LeBron James.
Kevin Love, outside of an extended injury layoff in February and March, has had a fine season but his mere Very Goodness is as much of a problem as it has ever been.
Smith may be struggling and inconsistent on the offensive end, but during the first two games of the series, he has been an important part of the defense.
The shot selection shows something similar. Cleveland had just two assists in the period.
The Cavs came out of the locker room for the third quarter a better team, outscoring the Pacers, 35-17, in the third quarter to trim their deficit to 91-84. In the postseason, that's all you can ask for.
Never mind the blown fourth-quarter leads. "He's got to channel that toward making effort plays on the court and doing whatever he needs for us to succeed".
"We have to take care of the basketball", Lue bemoaned.
The Pacers fell 2-0 to the Miami Heat on Monday night, but Stephenson has been decent as that utility piece. And then they held the Pacers to 40 points in the second half.
"Think we were just a little bit early on a lot of their sets", James said. "We were moving, we were flying around and we were communicating on coverages and allowed us to have that third".
In the third quarter, Cleveland took a much different approach, leaning heavily on Kevin Love's post play when the Pacers went small with Lance Stephenson covering the Cavaliers' power forward.
First off, the Cavaliers helped make this possible by the way they free up Love at the 3-point line. "But we're right there on turning the switch on what we really can become".
Defensively the Cavs have done just enough to get by. The run forced the Pacers to call a timeout. Nothing comes easy, not even in the first round of the playoffs. "We knew the importance of this game". Even when we're down big.
If George is unhappy and the Pacers can't make it out of the first round, the front office may have to have an honest discussion about trading George before he bolts when he gets the chance.
For the second straight game, the Pacers did. It's the playoffs. Only the end result matters.
Barring a remarkable turnaround in which the Pacers beat the LeBron and the Cavs four times in five games, George and company are looking at another first-round exit. You have to win 16 games.
Now the Pacers are one loss away from being eliminated by James' team for the fourth time in six years. The Cavs are finding their groove.