The Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from an ugly loss in Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers, and boy did it take a super-sized effort from Cavs superstar LeBron James to help them avoid getting behind 0-2 in the series.
"It's fine, yes", Love said while speaking to reporters after the game.
Think about this: LeBron scored 46 points, IN star Victor Oladipo, limited to just 28 minutes due to foul trouble, "only" scored 22 points, 10 points fewer than he scored IN Game 1 - and the Cavs, playing at home, still only won by three points.
Oladipo scored Myles Turner 18 to the Pacers, who surprised the Cavaliers in Game inch using an get - and 22 points - he was in ancient foul issue.
Injuries and a turnaround of the roster on trade deadline day played a big factor into where the Cavaliers finished the regular season in the Eastern Conference, but it now looks like things are finally clicking on the court, and at a crucial time for the team as well. The series now shifts to IN for Games 3 & 4 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where the Pacers will hold the advantage having the stolen home court with their Game 1 win. The 6-foot-8 Akron native also had 12 rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes.
"What I told those guys is, just your first playoff experience, just play hard and compete", Lue said before Game 1. Game 3 will be Saturday in Utah. In Game 1, Jeff Green and Rodney Hood started the game but were a combined 4-for-15 shooting.
"It's not going to feel great tomorrow", he said.
#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/UrCyC27axJLeBron James gets his 20th career 40-point game in the postseason, tying Jerry West for 2nd-most in National Basketball Association history.Michael Jordan leads the way with 38 such postseason gamesh/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/6sON8dLjIXRunning jokesTwitter.
While the changes weren't that surprising, Oladipo leaving after 62 seconds was stunning.
But there is still major concern of the support cast for James in Cleveland as the rest of the team shot below 50 per cent from the field.
IN was down by as many as 18 points but kept clawing their way back into the game before ultimately losing by 3 points.
Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns had another disappointing game, scoring his five points in the first quarter. Mitchell will need to be close to 100 percent for the Jazz to keep up with the Thunder and have a shot to steal Game 2.
Lue shook up his starting line-up for game two and Kyle Korver contributed 12 points, all on three-pointers, made several hustling plays and took two charges.