Down by 25 at halftime, the Cavaliers seemed as good as dead against the Pacers tonight. But then an explosion of offense from LeBron James helped fuel a 14-0 Cleveland run in the third quarter, and the ultimate result was the largest second-half comeback in postseason history.
After the first two games of the series showed that Paul George couldn’t propel the Pacers to victory all on his own, the third one initially looked as if he was going to give it his best shot. With 23 points and 9 rebounds in the first half, he quickly built a significant lead for Indiana as the Cavaliers struggled to make a shot (36.7 percent from the field) or to hold onto the ball (eight turnovers). But George’s offense cooled significantly in the second, with 4-of-14 shooting, and that opened a window for LeBron to go off and put on his own one-man show.
None of his teammates scored more than 13 points, but James made it so that they didn’t have to. He notched his 17th career playoff triple-double with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. As the Cavaliers stormed back in the crucial third quarter, he almost outscored the Pacers all on his own—13 points to Indiana’s 17. Cleveland ultimately won by a score of 119-114 to go up 3-0 in the series.
Game 4 is Sunday.