LeBron scores 46 as Cavs hold off Pacers
LeBron James scored 46 points and added 12 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from a poor performance in the opener by holding off the Indiana Pacers 100-97 on Wednesday night to even their Eastern Conference series at one game apiece.
Dazzling from the start, James scored the game's first 16 points and had 29 at halftime, dominating the way he has in so many previous postseasons.
But in a season in which nothing has been easy for the Cavs, Cleveland were lucky that Indiana's Victor Oladipo missed a wide-open 3-pointer that would have tied it with 27 seconds left.
Kevin Love scored 15, but Cleveland's All-Star centre injured his left hand, the same one he broke earlier this season, with 3:43 left. Love's status could affect the remainder of this series - and perhaps Cleveland's season.
Oladipo scored 22 - he was in early foul trouble and Myles Turner 18 for the Pacers, who shocked the Cavs with an overpowering win in Game 1.
Indiana clawed back from an 18-point deficit and were within 95-92 when Oladipo, who scored 32 in the opener, somehow came free but missed maybe his easiest shot in two games. James grabbed the rebound and made three free throws over the final 22 seconds as the Cavs avoided falling behind 2-0 on the series.
The 33-year-old James was expected to be more aggressive than in Game 1, when he was unusually passive, deferred to teammates and suffered the first playoff-opening loss of his career.
But James was his unstoppable self again, and there wasn't a whole lot the Pacers could do about him in the first half.