Paul George insists comments meant to motivate Pacers

Indiana Pacers Paul George shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers Iman Shumpert in the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday

Indiana Pacers Paul George shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers Iman Shumpert in the second half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday

Then, after Tuesday's 107-101 loss, George called on longtime friend Lance Stephenson to show more self-control and implored second-year center Myles Turner to get more physical.

However, the defending champions, following a pattern that began late in the regular season, almost gave away an 18-point lead in the fourth as the Pacers crawled within four in the final minute before Cleveland closed it out at the foul line.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) " Kawhi Leonard had a postseason career-high 37 points and added 11 rebounds as San Antonio beat Memphis to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series.

Reigning NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers have developed a habit of giving away late-game leads, but LeBron James is not losing sleep over that trend and feels his team are on the cusp of their top form.

Paul George is averaging 30.5 points in this series and has been a force in this series.

Game 3 is Thursday night.

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The latest episode of Locked on Pacers hits on the lineup options along with Paul George brushing off criticism of his post-game comments after Game 2. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. In the first two games, the Pacers have allowed Cleveland 113 points per game. Following Thursday night's contest, the two teams will play Game 4 on Sunday afternoon before returning for a potential Game 5 next week. The game tips off at 7:00 PM EST in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana and can be watched live on FuboTV.

Cleveland finally tied the score at 98 and took its first lead since the first quarter when James scored on a dunk with 6:27 to go. "We knew the importance of this game". "We're going to go out there, keep trying to give them hell, keep competing and we'll get ourselves a win".

CJ Miles #0 of the Indiana Pacers shoots, but misses, a fourth quarter game winning shot at the buzzer while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 15, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.

One area of concern was J.R. Smith's inability to play the second half due to an injury to his left hamstring. "We needed that spark". "He's got to learn to just be in the moment. I don't even know how many guys we've had on the roster just coming in and out of the season, it's been a lot". "Lance, in our locker room, is looked upon as a leader".

Shumpert clearly was happy to be in the game, and his energy helped lead the Cavaliers in a third quarter the team outscored Indy 33-20.

The crowd will be into it and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be in a hostile environment which shouldn't be a problem because of the experience they have on the team.

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