Published: Mon, April 23, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Cavs hold off Pacers to tie playoff series

Cavs hold off Pacers to tie playoff series

IN fought back from a 16-point deficit to lead the game as late as the 3:47 mark.

Well, Green was shooting free throws because it turns out that a personal foul was immediately ruled on Stephenson.

Granted, injuries - to Korver in Game 1 and Hill in Game 4 - forced Lue's hand, but the coach hasn't been a model of consistency in the series.

Cavaliers point guard George Hill sat out Game 4 with back spasms, an injury he first suffered during Game 1 and aggravated during Game 3.

Quarter number two was even more hard for the home team as James dropped in another dozen points to go along with ten from reserve Jordan Clarkson, and the lead ballooned to 16, before a flurry of points from Myles Turner and Darren Collison cut the deficit to 10 at the half.

Smith didn't hit his next shot until a little under eight minutes left in the third quarter.

Then the second half began.

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LeBron James was whistled for a technical foul with 6:12 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Cavaliers will take it.

Presented with an opportunity to seize control of the series, the Pacers instead went cold, choppy and predictable.

It's the last time this series the Pacers can afford to say that. The Pacers got punched in Game 2, only to fight back to pull off a near comeback. In the playoffs, they are No. 3 - behind IN and Golden State.8.

IN led, 93-91, with 4:28 to go - but managed only four baskets the rest of the way as James and Korver spurred the decisive 10-2 run that gave the Cavs a 101-95 lead with 1:52 left. Jordan Clarkson also played a crucial role for the Cavs as he shot a ideal field goal percentage at the break, going 4-4 in the first half and finishing the game with 12 points. Over half of the Pacers' shots in the final frame came from outside the paint despite all of the bricks, with Victor Oladipo forcing up a number of questionable shots as part of an ugly performance.

Victor Oladipo also struggled, as he went 5-for-20 from the floor. Last year, while the Pacers got swept, he threw up 16 a game.

With the win, the Cavaliers regained homecourt advantage in the series.

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They'll need to get connected if they are going to win Game Five. Following the bucket, LeBron James made a driving layup to extend Cleveland's lead to six with under two minutes left.

All of those players had good looks throughout Game 4, and while they didn't bury all of them all of the time, they buried some of them some of time, and it carried the day. The Cavaliers can't afford to keep him off the floor for long stretches because so numerous other players have struggled, and there's no Kyrie Irving to bail them out anymore in those minutes. Jordan Clarkson added 12 off the bench. Rodney Hood continues to be quiet in limited minutes.

James finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and Kyle Korver scored 18 points for the Cavaliers in the win.

On their next possession, James continued to go to work, banking in a jumper over the outstretched arms of Stephenson. However, there were times where James seemed weirdly passive.

Elsewhere, Bradley Beal scored 31 points, while John Wall had 27, and the Washington Wizards beat Toronto 106-98 to level their Eastern Conference series at two games apiece. He ultimately turned it on when necessary, and luckily Korver got hot in the second half after an ugly first-half stint. LeBron's burden would be a bit less if Love could provide anything of value.

James called Game 4 a "must-win" and he was right to do so.

Domantas Sabonis' team-high 19 points was also his playoff career high. To Love's credit, he did make a key stop on Darren Collison late in the game, but overall it was ugly. Though the Pacers were often able to find the open man from the trap, they failed to convert from several open shots and cutters occasionally fumbled interior passes.

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