Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-111 Monday night at Quicken Loans Arena to take a 2-0 lead in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
1. Before diving into J.R. Smith’s left hamstring injury -- "I wanted to play, they didn't want me to play,” Smith said – and Iman Shumpert’s “unbelievable” second half performance, according to coach Tyronn Lue, an encouraging comment on the team’s progress from LeBron James.
2. The question was about the Cavs being outscored in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game. On Monday, the Pacers finished with a 33-21 surge. In Saturday’s one-point Cavs’ victory, the Pacers had a 24-17 edge.
3. But James was not concerned about that troubling fact, even though the Pacers cut the Cavs’ 18-point lead going into the fourth quarter to four points with 19.5 seconds to go.To read more or comment...
LeBron James doesn’t have any siblings, so he knows he can’t really emphasize with Celtics star Isaiah Thomas over the shocking death of his sister last weekend.
Chyna Thomas, 22, was killed in a one-car accident early Saturday morning in their home state of Washington. Thomas, who learned of her death after practice Saturday, played Sunday and scored a team-high 33 points in the top-seeded Celtics’ 106-102 loss to the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden.
James did not send his condolences to Thomas and his family via social media because of James’ playoff-imposed blackout. But he did convey his sympathy after Monday’s shootaround before Game 2 of the Cavaliers’ series against the Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
“My deepest sympathy and prayers goes up to him and his mother, his father, whoever is in his life. I’m not quite sure who’s in his life,” James said. “Had to be a tough situation for him, just going out and playing a game and obviously who cares about the game? That’s so silly to even think about basketball when something like that tragic happens.To read more or comment...
Notes, quotes and observations after the defending champion Cavaliers' 109-108 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.
1. More on the Pacers’ C.J. Miles’ 14-foot potential game-winner with one second left:
2. Pacers coach Nate McMillan said the outcome felt “very similar” to their 135-130 double-overtime loss to the Cavs at the Q on April 2.
3. “When you are down one with the ball, you have to execute the play and hit the shot,” McMillan said. “We didn’t do that. C.J. (Miles) had a decent look at it, but when teams are double-teaming Paul (George) and other guys with the basketball, you have to make yourself available to knock down the shots as they come. I thought we could have done a better job of attacking the trap and getting the ball to the middle. We got a good look, you just have to knock the shot down. I do feel like we let one slip away again.”To read more or comment...