An Indiana Pacers victory was essentially in the bag for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Somebody forgot to give LeBron James and the defending NBA champions that memo.
The Cavs made history by coming back from a 25-point halftime deficit to defeat the Pacers 119-114 to take a 3-0 lead in the series. Cleveland was down by as much as 26 in the second quarter, as Indiana exploded for 74 points in the first half.
James was the catalyst in the comeback, almost matching the Pacers’ point total in the third quarter by himself. He finished the game with his 17th career playoff triple-double, totalling 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. Coming back from 26 points is one thing, but doing it while Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat on the bench for the entire fourth quarter is another.
Paul George had 36 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists for the Pacers, who now face a series hole no team in league history has ever recovered from.
Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis.