Irving scores 37, Cavs hold on to beat Pacers 117-111


The Cavaliers improved to 9-0 in the first round since the return of James, who had 32 points, 13 assists and six rebounds.

Still, James came away encouraged. Cavs win Game 2 by a five-to-seven-point margin to take a 2-0 lead. Cleveland is 12-0 when starting 2-0 in the postseason. It was an abysmal 51.9 percent clip that probably should have cost Tyronn Lue's group an opening game loss.

In Game 2, the Pacers trailed by 16 points entering the final quarter and midway through the fourth and they cut it down to five points, 109-104 with 2:28 to go in the ball game.

James, who turned the ball over three times in Game 1, had eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers in Game 2 on Monday night.

That was a similar story to Game 1, and it's scary enough for Cavaliers fans that this is happening at home against a mediocre Pacers team.

Iman Shumpert, who did not play in the Cavs' 109-108 Game 1 win, started the second half in Smith's place. They know this could've easily been a different situation heading into the second game of the series, and because of that, fully expect a focused team to come out of the gate once again. And I've kicked it to him and he's made the big shot.

George was upset that the fiery Stephenson briefly lost his composure.

"That being said, this was our first season to get a look at that and see how it feels".

Led by a gritty performance on both ends, Lance Stephenson was making plays left and right like he always has in a navy blue and gold uniform. The Cavs were just 14 of 27, the kind of performance that often comes back to bite a team - and almost did. On Monday, he scored 13 points in 26 minutes, but he picked up four personal fouls. A lot of it is his heart and his competitiveness, that emotion comes out on him.

"We got security at the hotel to make sure that guys were safe", he continued.

The 23-year-old Robinson averaged 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 69 games. C Al Jefferson was active, but didn't play. You're going to get everyone's best shot for 82 games with players and teams coming at you. He needs 37 points to pass Kobe Bryant (5,640 points) for third place in National Basketball Association playoff scoring history, and needs two more rebounds to pass Robert Parish (1,765 rebounds) for eighth in postseason history.

Stephenson had a strong workout with Cleveland in January before latching on with in, but coach Tyronn Lue said his recent injuries dissuaded the Cavs from signing him. They haven't had the best of finishes to the regular season, with some chemistry issues and stars overload, so they need time to build a playoff momentum to ride.