The Cleveland Cavaliers have a pulse. The Cavs outlasted the Indiana Pacers, 104-100, to win Game 4 and tie the series to 2-2. LeBron James wore Cleveland again, but it was the three-point shooting from his side formation that made the difference.
Cleveland secured the victory with a 10-2 draw in the fourth quarter, followed by a huge three by Kyle Korver. Korver and J. R. Smith each hit four threes and combined for 30 points to give Cleveland the extra hit it needed.
LeBron took it from there. James was brilliant again over 46 minutes and finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. He went from three to 0 of 5, but a cop went into the basket and money (8 of 9) from the Foullinie. It's the 1
Indiana was in this game until the end. Victor Oladipo fought with 17 points on 5 of 20 shooting. His teammates picked him up. Domantas Sabonis was automatically inside and led Indiana with 19 points. Myles Turner (17 points) played an efficient game again and even hit three threes, while Lance Stephenson added 11 points and five assists while bothering LeBron all night.
Jordan Clarkson also added 12 points for the Cavs.
The series is now tied at 2-2 in Game 5 in Cleveland. The Cavs badly needed that victory, and they got it.
Here is a running blog about what happened during the game.
Cavaliers 104, Pacers 100, Finale.
A Victor Oladipo Triple reduced the deficit to three, then Stephenson forced a barrier after the inbound pass. The referees reviewed the game and decided that Stephenson had fouled Jeff Green at the game, Green got two free throws and the game was essentially sealed.
Here is the call:
Cavaliers 99, Pacers 95 (2:20 in the fourth)
A giant three by Kyle Korver gives Cleveland a fourth-point lead. He has 16 points.
Pacers 91, Cavaliers 89 (6:12 in the fourth)
The Pacers have seven players in the double digits, but none with more than 19 points from Domantas Sabonis. It's a good illustration of who these Pacers are as a team: so selfless and balanced, with every player on the ground capable of hitting an outside goal and defending their position.
The Cavs have a hellish fight to avoid losing 3-1 in this series.
Also: Lance Stephenson is very Lance Stephenson
Cavaliers 87, Pacers 87 (8:17 in the fourth)
The most important quarter of the NBA season to date is upon us
– Playoff Mike P (@MikePradaSBN) April 23, 2018
That could even be an understatement, considering how it interferes with the free agency decision of LeBron James.
The Cavs performed up to 16 in the first half. This is huge.
Cavaliers 73, Pacers 68 (5:44 in the third)
The last five scoring possessions:
– JR Smith three
– Bojan Bogdanovic three
– Jose Calderon three
– Bojan Bogdanovic three (again).
– Kyle Korver three
Cavaliers 60, Pacers 50 (Halftime)
Another game, another double-digit half-time lead for Cleveland, who received 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting by a burning LeBron James in the first half to deal with six rebounds and four templates to go. Jordan Clarkson added 12 points for the Cavs and missed no shot.
Cavaliers 40, Pacers 28 (8:53 2Q)
J.R. Smith has nine early points for Cleveland, including those three from the Half Court to the end of the first quarter.
The Cavaliers have their backs against the wall – well, in the figurative sense. Inexplicably, they left Game 1 and found themselves in a deficit of 1: 2 against a raging Pacers team, which tried to defend the home game. This is not a good sign for Cleveland when it comes to returning to the NBA finals for the fourth consecutive year.
The cavaliers can wear all the colors they want; This will not help them to play the defense they need to slow down the fast paces. What Cleveland needs is continuity and maybe a few other pieces of rotation. It's too late for both.
The Pacers and Cavaliers face a wild Game 4 in Indiana. Victor Oladipo was nothing short of outstanding. So also LeBron James. But Indy's role-players have led circles around Cleveland, and there's no sign that this will change soon.
Cleveland is without George Hill, which means Jose Calderon will get the start. This is a 36-year-old who is assigned to walk around the court and chase down the car Darren Collison. Good luck with it.
If the cavaliers lose on Sunday, they will fall to a deficit of 1-3, and although the series returns home, they will have to win another game on the road if they can. I'll make it from the first round. LeBron James has never been eliminated so early in the playoffs. Will this be the year in which the royal tribe breaks down?