The Pacers made a late run thanks to one of those defensive lapses we mentioned, but the Cavaliers sealed the victory with a nifty out of bounds play that led to an easy bucket for Irving, followed by a fierce rejection at the rim by James that helped to wrap things up. It was James' 17th triple-double of his playoff career.
The Cavaliers will try to sweep the series Sunday.
Paul George did everything he could to get IN back IN the series.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, James scored or assisted on 73 points, a career playoff high.
Trailing by 26 with 49 seconds left in the second quarter, the Cavs outscored the Pacers 35-17 in the third quarter to cut the deficit at the break to seven. One thing I do know is that we had a huge half-time deficit and were able to come back and win the game. He got stronger as the game went on, and both Teague and Paul George realized their team allowed too many open looks in the second half. James has powered the Cavaliers through the first two wins, totaling 57 points, 20 assists and 16 rebounds. Only Magic Johnson has more (30).
The early impressive play from George vanished in the third quarter, just as the Pacers did. However, Cleveland outscored IN 35-17 IN the period and was within 91-84 with 12 minutes to go.
As the Cavaliers' series with the Pacers shifts to IN for Games 3 and 4 and Cleveland up 2-0, James will look to up that record to 19-0. Defense is the side of the floor that the Cavs have to shore up in, as they continue to show bad habits right now. So when we went back at him, Kevin was scoring the basketball and getting to the free throw line. James answered with a layup out of a timeout and the Cavs never trailed again.More news: When is the Champions League draw? Can I watch it on TV?
One of the greatest comebacks in National Basketball Association playoff history occurred with LeBron James on the court for every single minute of the second half with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love not seeing a second of playing time in the fourth quarter on Thursday.
The Indiana Pacers blew Game 3 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in historic fashion Thursday night - literally.
The Cavs' comeback was even more remarkable for the face that Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving did not feature at all in the fourth quarter, with James praising the roles played by Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Deron Williams and Kyle Korver.
Kawhi Leonard, who scored 32 and 37 in the first two games, was held to 18. He finished with 12.
But Randolph scored 11 points in the second quarter, and the Grizzlies took a 50-46 lead into halftime.
"We missed layups, they got the momentum and we got hesitant", IN coach Nate McMillan said of the Pacers' collapse. On one sequence, he was out in transition and faked Monta Ellis to his right and charged in for an uncontested dunk.
He played the entire second half and orchestrated a Cavs offense that had zero second-half turnovers after surrendering the ball eight times in the first half.