CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs. The final score, 105-101.
Cleveland started with LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Kevin Love, Kyle Korver and Tristan Thompson, a lineup that is reminiscent of the team’s last Game 7 victory: the 2016 Finals.
The Cavaliers stayed with that group for much of the first quarter and it was working. Thompson had 7 rebounds and 6 points, while LeBron was 5 for 5 with 13 points.
The wine and gold had a 14-point lead for part of the second quarter, but Indiana cut that to 5. Then LeBron kicked into high gear, ending the half with 26 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. He also passed Scottie Pippen for most steals in NBA playoff history.
As feared, Cleveland was stagnant in the third quarter and allowed the Pacers to take the lead.
James went back to the locker room for a few minutes in the fourth quarter for some cramping.
Kevin Love woke up towards the end of the game, adding two much-needed 3-pointers.
The Cavs will now face the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.