Cavaliers Flip The Switch vs Pacers – Behind the Box Score

LeBron James dunk Game 2 Pacers Cavs
Scott Sargent/WFNY

Cleveland Cavaliers – 117
Indiana Pacers – 111
[Box Score]

When Cavaliers fans asked for their team to “flip the switch,” they didn’t realize they needed to specify it needed to be left on. On Monday night, the Cavs flipped the switch. And then flipped it back off. And then back on. Back off. And, finally, on for good, taking Game 2, 117-111, Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first round series against the Indiana Pacers.

Cleveland saw extended stretches of dominant play, with the Big Three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love all taking turns controlling the game. The third quarter was as close to a fully-charged Cavaliers team as we’ve seen since their massacre against Boston during the regular season. The Cavs outscored the Pacers 33-20 in that quarter, with various explosions of defense, ball movement, shooting, and individual dominant play.

Irving scored 37 points on only 24 shots to flex his playoff muscles—again. He had his full arsenal of tricks on display, and embarrassed Lance Stephenson with this incredible crossover.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan mentioned in post-game that Irving’s constant attacking forced him to adjust his match-ups, ultimately ending up with Lance Stephenson guarding Love. While this may have slowed Uncle Drew’s scoring effort, it was solely because Love imposed his will on this match-up. He scored ten straight points, punctuated with Stephenson slamming the ball in frustration.

Love even took a big charge near the end of this sequence after several close calls went against him earlier in the game. His efforts seemed to fire-up the entire squad.

LeBron James finished three assists shy of a triple-double and even after 42 minutes of play, was flying around the defensive end grabbing rebounds and blocking shots to secure the victory.

LeBron gave the fans something to cheer about early in the first quarter, and Quicken Loans Arena was rocking for most of the night.

A side story in both victories of this series, and the season as a whole,  has been the Cavaliers’ inability to maintain leads. A 13-point first half lead was cut to five before halftime. A 19-point second half lead was cut to five with just over two minutes left to play. When asked about those blown leads by WFNY’s own Scott Sargent, head coach Tyronn Lue immediately pointed out that it was the offense, not the defense to blame. When pressed further, Lue didn’t want to blame the isolation plays and lack of ball movement as much as the Cavs just not taking care of the ball.

One area of concern was J.R. Smith’s inability to play the second half due to an injury to his left hamstring. Iman Shumpert, after not playing in the first game of the series or the first half on Monday, entered the starting lineup and helped spur a 7-0 run to start the third quarter. Lue was not afraid to heap praise on Shumpert in the post-game.

“Shump was unbelievable… Our defense was really good and Shump sparked that.”

A timetable for Smith’s injury was not immediately available, but he was visibly frustrated on the Cavaliers bench coming out of half time.

Let’s look behind the box score at some of the numbers in this game.

Plus-6 – The Cavaliers ended the first quarter with LeBron and Kyrie on the bench and Deron Williams running the offense with Kevin Love. While it was an extremely small sample size and is inflated simply by making shots, this lineup looked promising.

821 – Kyrie Irving passed Mark Price for the second most points all-time for the Cavaliers.

2 – This play is only worth two points, but it’s worth highlighting Lue’s out-of-bounds plays. Richard Jefferson heaped praise on Lue post-game and this is an example of how much he’s a weapon for this team. As we see with the constant “LeBron is the General Manager!” stuff, it’s difficult to get praise when coaching James, but Lue deserves his fair share.

87 – Percentage from the free-throw line for the Cavaliers on Monday. After shooting 52% from the line in the first game of the series, it was a bit of a relief to see the Cavaliers shoot so well from the line. Kevin Love went 12-for-12 from the line, helping extend leads and keep the game under control.

The Cavaliers head to Indiana on Thursday for Games 3 and 4 (Game 4 is Sunday afternoon). As always, stay tuned to WFNY for more Cavaliers and NBA coverage.

  • Chris

    Can we petition to allow Lance Stevenson on each team the Cavs face? The only condition would be that he has to guard Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving for a minimum of 12 minutes per game.

  • RGB

    Well, if not blowing an 18-point lead is flipping the switch, I’ll take it. I guess.

  • Saggy

    Excellent assessment of flipping the switch on and off and on and off and on.

    The Cavs haven’t had the switch on since last year’s finals. Maybe the Boston game a few weeks back would qualify.

    It’s like a sputtering engine that hasn’t been run in months: needs to work out the kinks before it starts purring.

  • Saggy

    Based on LeBron’s body language, that out of bounds play seems like it was a two-outcome read/react. If George switches, LeBron rolls to the hoop. Once Kyrie got Teague in the action it was over.

  • RGB
  • JNeids

    -Gotta start with a tip of the cap to Shump. Dude watched his minutes dwindle as the season went on and got the dreaded DNP-CD in game 1. Nobody would have been surprised if he had come off the bench and just played flat, uninspired ball, but he proved he wants to earn coach’s trust back. Hopefully JR can go in game 3, but Shump likely earned a little bit of burn.

    -I’ve said it before: Kyrie is just basketball porn. He actually had an even better yack ’em on poor Lance before the one highlighted above, but unfortunately the 3 rimmed out, so the video probably isn’t out there. I actually thought Ky had a pretty poor 1st quarter on both sides of the court, but bounced back in a BIG way.
    -Lebron. Cleveland, please don’t take him for granted. This is all.

    -3 or 4 times they ran the PnR with TT, and when TT got the roll pass, he got obliterated by Myles Turner at the rim (if he even caught the pass in the first place). I don’t know if that thumb is still hampering him, or if the Kardashian Kurse is real, but we need healthy, “I’M A MAN” TT going forward.

    -And gonna finish with my #MCM, Kyle Korver. The Pacers clearly aren’t gonna let him get in a rhythm, but he finds other ways to impact. Knowing they’ll overplay him, he’ll play the decoy. He’s always sneaking into passing lanes when he’s off the ball on D. But last night, when everyone else was letting Myles Turner grab every O board, there’s Kyle finding him and boxing him out as soon as the shot goes up. Love that vet savvy.

  • JNeids

    Oh, and if I may be “that guy” for a minute…while the refs weren’t terrible overall, they had 3-4 AWFUL calls that all went against the Cavs. Love was called for two blocks that should have both been charges. And Ky and Lebron were both whistled for redic fouls, at least one of which if not both were momentum killers. Sure, we just would have had an even bigger lead to blow, but some of those calls screamed of the league/TNT not wanting the game to get out of hand.
    /end “that guy” mode

  • Jeff Nomina

    Wonder if Markieff Morris will have the same effect if we play Washington.

  • Jeff Nomina

    Unfortunately, the Cavs’ switch is of the on/off variety.

  • Jeff Nomina

    To be fair to TT – Turner is a good shot blocker. But yeah, love to see him finish those. I was happy Love was drawing fouls and finishing around the rim. When he plays strong he’s so good. Sometimes he has those games where he misses 5 bunnies and loses the ball whenever there’s hard contact.

  • JNeids

    Agreed about Turner and Love. Wanted to include Love in my bullet points, but wasn’t sure which direction to go. You summed it up well.

  • RGB

    Fortunately, Shump has played better as a starter than off the bench, so I guess that helps somewhat if JR has to sit for a game.

  • RGB
  • JNeids
  • JNeids

    Hand = Cavs in close game

    Thing in box = Cavs when lead gets over 15

  • Chris

    Does this mean the Cavs will go from “suck” to “blow”?

  • JNeids

    The combination to unlocking their potential is 1-2-3-4-5.

  • humboldt

    Even mediocre NBA teams make runs – it’s the nature of the game

  • Eric G

    I can’t help but say “Not this year” every time I see him…and then laugh.

  • chrisdottcomm

    That moment when Kyrie called for Shump to set the screen and let Lance switch off on him so he could bury the three in his face was glorious.

  • humboldt

    Perhaps an honorary WFNY membership should be extended to Teague?

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