What we learned from a must-win Game 4 victory

Pacers Vs Cavaliers Game 4 Preview Starting Lineups Odds Predictions TV Injuries | NBA 4/22/18

Inconsistent offense and poor starts have plagued the Pacers in all 4 playoff games with Cleveland this year and it showed up Sunday night at arguably the most pivotal point in this series.

Make a list of the things the Pacers would have wanted to happen in Game 4 and put a check box next to them, and you'll see in had a tremendous opportunity to take control of its best-of-seven first-round series with Cleveland.

And you might remember that in Game 2, the Cavs led by 18 points in the first quarter and 16 in the third, only to give in and Victor Oladipo the chance to tie the game via a 3-point attempt that was off the mark with 27.5 seconds left.

Cleveland extended the lead 76-68 lead with 4:41 left in the third only to watch the Pacers score the last six points of the quarter, tie the score on Lance Stephenson's 11-footer to open the fourth and then take the lead on Sabonis' 3-pointer with 10:51 left. Kyle Korver made four 3-pointers, including two in the final four minutes. But none more than Clarkson, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the second quarter to help the Cavaliers extend their lead. He also had 6 rebounds and made 9 of 12 shots.

Do I really need to get into this? But I should know better. On one side, Bogdanovic canned two from long range, narrowing it to a 70-68 Cavs lead.

Here are three key takeaways from Game 4. Cleveland got off to a nice start with Jose Calderon starting in place of the injured George Hill, and Tyronn Lue even dusted off Tristan Thompson for seven minutes in the first half. "We're both trying to get a W, and we're going to whatever it takes and they're going to do whatever it takes".

It was James' 100th career 30-point game in the postseason, joining Michael Jordan (109) as the only players in league history to reach the century mark.

"He's one of the all-time leaders in 3-pointers made", James said.

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To close the third, it was all Pacers, as Thad Young sent home the final points on the quarter with a massive one-handed slam to ignite the crowd at The Fieldhouse, bringing the score to an 80-78 Cavs lead and setting up the tight fourth quarter.

"I thought we as a team forced some shots".

IN had a golden opportunity to put Cleveland in a stunning 3-1 series hole after leading by three in the final minutes, but poor shooting and a late technical foul ended their upset bid. IN started out in the third quarter where they left off.

The Cavaliers are looking to even the series 2-2 in Game 4. DeMar DeRozan had 35 points, six rebounds and six assists for the top-seeded Raptors, who were outscored 66-47 in the second half.

Note: The Pacers demonstrated tremendous balance with seven players in double figures, led by Sabonis with 19 points. "You play the game together and you play for each other. I thought there were some quick shots, some heroic shots that were taken throughout this game, and you're not going to win if you play the game like that".

Only this time, as in Game 2, in couldn't quite finish. "The game is going to make you pay".

"We just didn't play the game the right way", said Pacers coach Nate McMillan. Cleveland outscored IN 17-7 on fast-break points.

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