The three-time defending Eastern Conference champions weren’t going to fade quietly into the night in the first round of the 2018 NBA playoffs, especially with LeBron James leading the way.
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James dropped 46 points to guide the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 100-97 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena in Game 2 on Wednesday, evening the series at one game apiece.
The four-time MVP wasted little time sending a message after his team lost its first home game by 18. nfl wholesale jerseys He scored the first 13 points of the contest and his team’s first 16 on his way to 46 points on 17-of-24 shooting, 12 rebounds and five assists.
James’ aggressiveness out of the gates was particularly notable after head coach Tyronn Lue challenged him Monday to “set the tone early,” per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com.
His first shot in Game 1 came with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter after his team was already down 17, but he attempted the opening shot of Wednesday’s contest and consistently bullied his way to the rim while scoring 20 points in the first quarter.
The Pacers had nobody to cut off his penetration, and when they did sag off of him and dare him to shoot,nfl jerseys from china he responded with two triples and a handful of step-back mid-range buckets.
James wasn’t about to allow his team to fall into a 2-0 hole. Any time the Pacers crawled back within serious striking range, he was there with an answer, whether it was by drawing fouls attacking the lane or drilling shots over Myles Turner and Bojan Bogdanovic.
James going from Game 1 triple-double facilitator into a scoring machine wasn’t the Cavaliers’ only notable change, official nfl jerseys cheap as Lue started JR Smith and Kyle Korver in place Jeff Green and Rodney Hood. Green went scoreless in Game 1 and Hood had just nine of Cleveland’s 80 points, while Smith and Korver provided more shooting after the team finished an abysmal 23.5 percent from deep in the opening loss.