Everything broke the Cavaliers‘ way in Game 2.
LeBron James went supernova on the Pacers’ asses, dropping Cleveland’s first 16 before his opponents scored their second point.
LeBron James scored the first 16 PTS (20 total) for @cavs in the 1st quarter of Game 2!
— NBA (@NBA) April 18, 2018
Pacers star Victor Oladipo hit the bench one minute into the game thanks to a pair of fouls 16 seconds apart.
When the buzzer sounded on the first quarter, the Cavs were up 33-18.
And after all that, they still barely won, 100-97.
Oladipo returned minutes into the second quarter, and Indy won every period from then on, cutting Cleveland’s lead to three with under a minute remaining.
If not for one of the more Herculean playoff performances of LeBron’s career (46 points on 17-of-24 shooting, 11 rebounds, five assists), the Pacers would be taking a 2-0 series lead back home for Games 3 and 4 of the teams’ first-round matchup — a fact not lost on Cleveland’s head coach.
“I need to see more out of a lot of guys,” Tyronn Lue said after the victory.
For Kevin Love, that’s a tall order — the Cavs big man tore a ligament in his thumb on Wednesday night.
Kevin Love jamming his thumb is slow motion OOOOUCHHHH pic.twitter.com/e33xHdPO6V
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) April 19, 2018
Love said he’ll still be “ready to go” for Game 3.
If his teammates are going to continue to play at this level, the Cavs had better hope LeBron has a performance like last night’s in his bag every night from here on out, because if not, he’ll miss the NBA Finals for the first time in eight years.