LeBron James scored 32 points and Kyle Korver hit two clutch 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 104-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers, evening their first-round playoff series at two games apiece Sunday night in Indianapolis.
James, who hit 12 of 22 field-goal attempts, grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds. Korver scored 18 points, including eight in the final three-plus minutes. JR Smith and Jordan Clarkson each scored 12 points for the Cavaliers.
Game 5 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series is Wednesday night in Cleveland.
Victor Oladipo sank a 3-pointer to cut Indiana’s deficit to 103-100 with 11.9 seconds to go. Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was called for foul after taking Jeff Green down trying to tie the ball up. Green hit one free throw. Bojan Bogdanovic missed a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left, and James sealed it by grabbing the rebound.
Domantas Sabonis came off the bench to lead the Pacers with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Myles Turner contributed 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Thaddeus Young added 12 points and a team-high 16 rebounds. Oladipo scored 17 but hit just 5 of 20 shots from the floor. Boganovic, who scored 30 in Game 3 victory, had 10 points, making just 4 of 13 field-goal attempts.
Korver put Cleveland ahead for good at 94-93 with a 3-pointer with 3:48 to play. Following a Pacers miss, James hit a driving layup. After Oladipo’s basket, Korver hit another 3-pointer to make it 99-95.
The Cavaliers shot 44.9 percent from the field to the Pacers’ 43 percent. The 3-point shooting was nearly identical with Indiana making 12 of 33 and Cleveland 12 of 34.
The Pacers cut the Cavaliers’ 10-point halftime lead to 80-78 heading to the fourth quarter, the fourth time Indiana trimmed the Cavaliers’ lead to two points in the second half.
Stephenson tied it at 80-all on the first basket of the final quarter. After a James layup, Sabonis drilled a 3-pointer to give the Pacers their first lead since the first quarter.
After the Pacers took a 91-89 lead on Young’s put-back, James got called for a technical foul for shoving Stephenson. Oladipo hit the free throw.
James scored 23 in the first half, and Cleveland held a 60-50 halftime lead.
The Cavaliers’ largest first-half lead was 49-33 midway through the second quarter.
Smith sank a 3-pointer from beyond half-court at the buzzer to give the Cavaliers a 30-24 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Kevin Love picked up his second foul with 1 1/2 minutes gone in the first quarter and was replaced by Tristan Thompson, who saw his first action since Game 1. Love was scoreless in nine-plus minutes in the opening half. He wound up five points on 2-of-10 shooting, though he added 11 rebounds.
The Cavaliers had to play without starting point guard George Hill, who was sidelined due to back spasms. Jose Calderon started in his place and contributed five points and two assists.
–Field Level Media