Close call: Irving scores 37, Cavs hold on to beat Pacers


Needed to start the second half after J.R. Smith's left hamstring tightened up, Shumpert provided scoring, defensive pressure on Paul George and some attitude as Cleveland survived another late rally by IN for a 117-111 win to take a 2-0 lead IN their Eastern Conference series.

Kevin Love (27) and LeBron James (25) got their side home 117-111 after nearly blowing an 18-point lead in the final term when the Pacers inched to within four.

Paul George scored 32 and Jeff Teague 23 for IN, which showed more fight, but now has a steep hill to climb to get back IN the series.

Leading 2-0 in a first-round series against the No. 7-seeded Pacers, the Cavs have time to let Smith get healthy.

After squeaking out the opener by a point, LeBron James and Co. showed more intensity on defense, more swagger in general and won their 10th straight first-round game over the past three seasons. Turner has under-performed, putting up only 11 points in the game one and only 6 points in game two. His teammates and coach clearly took notice, including Channing Frye, who chalked it up to Shump's eating habits. "He's got to learn to just be in the moment", George said.

Looks like they spotted IN two points for this one.

"We're right there of what we know can become", James said. "We needed that spark".

If Smith can't play, Iman Shumpert, who came off the bench to replace him Monday night and gave Cleveland a lift, likely will start.

Smith was asked if the potential is there for more good looks for him and other players in Lue's rotation when so much attention must be paid to stopping James, Irving and Love. He scored four in nine minutes.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said pulling Smith out before the start of the third quarter was a "smart thing for him".

After losing both games in Cleveland to the Cavaliers, the Pacers are ready to take advantage of home court this week.