LeBron sparks Cavaliers to NBA playoff sweep of Pacers
Los Angeles (AFP) – LeBron James scored 33 points and made key plays late to give the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers a 106-102 victory at Indiana and a sweep of their playoff series.
The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 4-0 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round matchup and will next face the winner between the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.
James sank a 3-pointer to give Cleveland a 103-102 edge, made a steal, then missed another 3-point shot, but Kyrie Irving grabbed the rebound and Kyle Korver was fouled, hitting two free throws to stretch the Cavaliers lead to 105-102.
In the dying seconds, Indiana’s Paul George missed a 3-pointer and James grabbed the rebound. Fouled with one second remaining, he sank a free throw to create the final margin.
“Tough team,” James said of the Pacers. “We knew we had something to deal with but we locked in. We listened to our coaching schemes and stuck with the plan and got the job done.”
Irving added 28 points while Kevin Love pulled down 16 rebounds, Tristan Thompson grabbed 11 and James contributed 10 rebounds in the victory.
Lance Stephenson came off the Indiana bench to lead the Pacers with 22 points.