Paul George insists comments intended to motivate Pacers

Danny Woods
April 20, 2017

JR Smith?left Game 2 of the Cavs' first-round series against the Indiana Pacers at halftime Monday because of a left hamstring injury and did not return.

But the Cavs put the home fans through the ringer in a nervy finale as the Pacers punished a litany of mistakes to cut the gap to four points with 18 seconds remaining.

James added 10 rebounds and seven assists, but had eight of Cleveland's 19 turnovers.

If Smith can't go in Game 3, the Cavs will likely start Shumpert, who did a nice job harassing George during the third quarter when the Cavs took control and opened a 19-point lead.

Smith and Shumpert have swapped roles before. "Just staying ready, being a professional", Tyronn Lue said after the game. In our locker room Lance is looked at as one of our leaders.

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"I would say yes, but the way people have been guarding us, no", Smith said.

If Smith can't play, Iman Shumpert, who came off the bench to replace him Monday night and gave Cleveland a lift, likely will start. Shump sparked that, made a couple shots for us also. The team practiced Wednesday afternoon at the Fieldhouse, with a long list of things that need to be improved. Lance Stephenson struggled massively defending Kevin Love in game two and admitted today after practice that he let his emotions get the best of him in that match up. He's been out since March 26 with a sprained left ankle. We'll see if the doctors agree Thursday in Indianapolis.

It was the first time that Irving, Love and James each scored at least 25 points in a playoff game since the trio joined forces in advance of the 2015 season. A moment of silence was observed for Robert Godwin Sr., the 73-year-old tragically killed Sunday in Cleveland by a suspect who shot him and posted the killing on Facebook.

He still averaged 19.0 points and 11 rebounds in 31.4 minutes during the regular season.

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