LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — LeBron James scored 33 factors and made key performs late to give the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers a 106-102 victory at Indiana and a sweep of their playoff collection.
The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers Four-Zero of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round matchup and can subsequent face the winner between the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.
“Once again, we just had to weather the storm,” mentioned James. “We beat a very good team.”
In the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets obtained an enormous increase from their bench to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-109 and seize a commanding Three-1 lead of their first-round playoff collection.
James sank a Three-pointer to give Cleveland a 103-102 edge, made a steal, then missed one other Three-point shot, however Kyrie Irving grabbed the rebound and Kyle Korver was fouled, hitting two free throws to stretch the Cavaliers lead to 105-102.
In the dying seconds, Indiana’s Paul George missed a Three-pointer and James grabbed the rebound. Fouled with one second remaining, he sank a free throw to create the ultimate margin.
“Tough team,” James mentioned of the Pacers. “We knew we had something to deal with but we locked in. We listened to our coaching schemes and stuck with the plan and got the job done.”
Irving added 28 factors whereas Kevin Love pulled down 16 rebounds, Tristan Thompson grabbed 11 and James contributed 10 rebounds within the victory.
Lance Stephenson got here off the Indiana bench to lead the Pacers with 22 factors.
At Oklahoma City, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams scored 18 factors every and Nene delivered a team-high 28 because the Rockets now have an opportunity to shut out the collection Tuesday at residence.
Houston gained regardless of an off night time from famous person James Harden, who missed seven three-point makes an attempt in a row and shot solely 5-of-16 general from the ground.
The Thunder can’t be so assured they are going to be ready to rating if Russell Westbrook ever hits a dry scoring patch.
Westbrook, who will get extra touches per recreation than virtually some other NBA participant and infrequently carries the Thunder on his again, completed with 35 factors, 14 rebounds and 14 assists.
But he had one other poor capturing second half on Sunday, making solely 5-of-17 from the ground within the remaining two quarters. In a game-two loss, he misfired on 14-of-18 photographs within the fourth quarter.
Westbrook had a triple-double within the first half, making him simply the second participant in NBA historical past with three consecutive playoff triple-doubles. Wilt Chamberlain did it in 4 consecutive video games in 1967.
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