LeBron James had 32points and saved the Cleveland Cavaliers from a fourth-quarter collapse in Saturday's 109-108, playoff-opening victory over the Indiana Pacers.
James, who has won 18 straight first-round games, added 13assists and sixrebounds for the top-seeded defending champs. Kyrie Irving had23points and two big steals down the stretch.
Paul George led the way for seventh-seeded Indiana with 29points but had only four in the fourth quarter.
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The Cavs led most of the way but the Pacers kept it close and took a late lead on a three from Jeff Teague. But James answered with a dunk to tie it, then found Irving for an assist as the Cavs took the lead for good.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 15, 2017
The Pacers had a chance to take the lead in the final seconds, but James doubled George and forced a pass to C.J. Miles, who missed a jumper at the buzzer.
"Anyone but Paul George can take that final shot and we live with it," James told ABC's Lisa Salters after the game.
Lance Stephenson is almost invisible but wide open under the hoop pic.twitter.com/vE3hBi5igY
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 15, 2017
Unreal. Paul George has to immediately ATTACK J.R. Smith and take a shot as if he KNOWS he's going to make it. Came up small predictably.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 15, 2017
Lance didn't stay in the middle of the lane and demand the ball..Also JVG so right ..McMillan timeout wth
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) April 15, 2017
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) April 15, 2017