Cavaliers rally, take 3-0 lead
LeBron James celebrated another milestone with the greatest second-half comeback in playoff history.
Win one more at Indiana, the four-time MVP will be crowned king of the first round.
James scored 41 points while padding his postseason resume with yet another triple-leading defending champion Cleveland back from a 25-point halftime deficit to a 119-114 victory against the Indiana Pacers Thursday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“We knew we had to take [some] punches, but it was a flurry, more than we expected,” James said. “At halftime, I was just looking at the guys and telling them ‘Let’s get a couple stops.’”
Officially, it will go down as the third-largest comeback in playoff history. But the largest halftime deficit overcome previously was 21 points, by Baltimore against Philadelphia in 1948.
As for James, he keeps moving up in the record books, too. He scored 28 in the second half and finished with 13 rebounds and 12 assists, moving past Kobe Bryant and into third on the NBA’s playoff scoring list. Bryant had 5,640 points; James now has 5,669.
The Cavaliers will try to sweep the series Sunday in Indianapolis.
The incredible rally ruined Paul George’s big game. He had 36 points, a playoff career-high 15 rebounds and 9 assists.
James scored 13 points in the third quarter to get the Cavaliers within 91-84. Cleveland regained the lead twice in a 15-5 fourth-quarter run and closed it out with a 12-5 spurt.
After Cleveland cut the deficit to 77- 62 and then watched Indiana extend the margin to 20, Cleveland finished the third quarter on a 17-4 spurt to make it 91-84.
Bucks 104, Raptors 77: Khris Middleton had 20 points and seven assists as host Milwaukee took a 2-1 lead in an Eastern series. Milwaukee led after the first quarter, 32-12.
Grizzlies 105, Spurs 94: Mike Conley had a game-high 24 points, and Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each added 21 as host Memphis cut the deficit to 2-1 in a Western series.