It continued a disturbing trend for the Cavs, who have been giving up late, big leads with regularity.
"We're right there", said Cleveland forward LeBron James, who was strong again in Game 2 with 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
"We were trying to cool off Kyrie", the coach said. Clutch baskets from James and Love held off the Pacers' rally and the Cavaliers held on to their second win in this series. Kevin Love contributed 27 points and 11 rebounds and was 12 of 12 from the foul line.
The Cavs vowed they would play better after their near-loss in Game 1 and they mostly backed up their talk, delivering the type of performance that was routine last season but rare in 2017. Guard Jeff Teague added 23 points on Monday and was able to attack the Cavaliers, but 20 point games for Teague usually doesn't happen consistently.
In the first game of this series, Cleveland eked out a 109-108 victory as the Pacers missed a wide-open buzzer beater to fall short.
What started late in the regular season and kept Cleveland from securing the Eastern Conference's top seed has carried over into the first two games of their best-of-seven series against the Indiana Pacers. After losing Game 1 by a single point, George expressed his dissatisfaction with C.J.
"In situations like that, I got to get the last shot", George said.
After another close loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and yet another near double-digit comeback, the Pacers All-Star is fed up with just about everyone in the in locker room.
"We believe", he said. "And he had that mindset, came in and executed, and it's hard to come off the bench right after halftime".
"We just need him to challenge Tristan [Thompson], keep him off the boards", George said of the 21-year-old Turner. Then, following Monday's 117-111 loss in which Lance Stephenson let his frustration show on the court, George matter-of-factly stated that the mercurial guard "has gotta learn to control himself" and added that "his body language has to improve, just for the team".
San Antonio led for all but 13 seconds in winning its 10th consecutive postseason game over Memphis. "We're right there where we know what we can become if we figure it out". Even when we're down big.
Pacers coach Nate McMillan blamed Indiana's team defense, not placing the blame on just Stephenson.
Cavaliers: James (357) jumped Magic Johnson (358) for third place in career playoff steals and hopped Robert Parish for eighth in rebounds.
LeBron James was beyond human during the series, Kyrie Irving hit big shot after big shot, and the Golden State Warriors did their thing, spreading the wealth and proving they were one of the best teams of all time.
The Cavs had a double-digit lead against the Pacers before grinding out the win, but James says the team are close to pulling everything together. It was the 13th playoff game in which he collected at least 30 points and 10 assists. They led by as many as 19 points but led by just 4 with 15 seconds left. Ole!
For the first time in franchise history the Cavs had 3 players score 25 or more points in a playoff game Monday night.
Entering the third quarter, IN did not look like a team that was ready to compete. Cleveland G Iman Shumpert didn't play at all in Game 1.