The defending NBA Champion Cavaliers are up 3-0 in their Eastern Conference First Round matchup against the Indiana Pacers and can close out the series with a win on Sunday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tipoff is at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on ABC, WTAM 1100 and 87.7 La Mega.
With Thursday’s thrilling 119-114 comeback victory in Game 3, the Cavs have won six straight games against the Pacers, dating back to the 2016-17 regular season.
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After trailing 46-72 with 49.5 seconds remaining in the first half of Game 3, Cleveland overcame a 26-point deficit to earn the victory. The 26-point comeback is the largest since the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a 27-point second-half deficit in Game 1 of their First Round series against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 29, 2012 (99-98). The Cavaliers trailed by 25 points at halftime (49-74), marking the largest
halftime deficit overcome in NBA postseason history (previously 21 by BALT at PHI on 4/13/1948; trailed 20-41; won 66-63).
The victory preserved some pretty impressive playoff marks for the Wine and Gold. Since the 2015 postseason, the Cavs hold a 27-4 playoff record against Eastern Conference opponents, which includes an 12-3 mark on the road. Cleveland is also a perfect 11-0 in First Round games over that span.
The Cavaliers have gone on to sweep an opponent all seven occasions when leading 3-0 in a playoff series (2007 First Round vs. WAS, 2009 First Round vs. DET, 2009 Semifinals vs. ATL, 2015 First Round vs. BOS and 2015 Conference Finals vs. ATL, 2016 First Round vs. DET, 2016 Semifinals vs. ATL).
With the odds stacked against Indiana, expect the Pacers to come out strong as they try to fight off elimination in front of their home crowd.
If the Cavs can pull off the sweep and advance, it will mark the 11th time in franchise history that the Wine and Gold have reached the Conference Semifinals.
Where to Catch the Action
Radio: WTAM 1100, 87.7 La Mega
Programming Note: On Thursday, FOX Sports Ohio is carrying the Reds-Orioles game (7:00 p.m.), Blue Jackets–Penguins playoff game (7:00 p.m.), and the Cavs–Pacers game (7:00 p.m.). To view TV listings, CLICK HERE.–>
For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.
Probable Starters/Status Update*
#2 – Kyrie Irving
#5 – J.R. Smith
#23 – LeBron James
#0 – Kevin Love
#13 – Tristan Thompson
#44 – Jeff Teague
#0 – C.J. Miles
#13 – Paul George
#21 – Thaddeus Young
#33 – Myles Turner
Status Update: (Cavs) – Kay Felder, (Left Ankle, Out)
Status Update: (Pacers) – None to Report
*Subject to change.
Through the first three games of this series, the Cavs are averaging 115.0 points, while shooting a combined .510 (123-241) from the field, including .437 (45-103) from the three-point line.
In Game 3, LeBron James recorded his first triple-double of the 2017 Playoffs (17th of postseason career) with a game-high 41 points on 14-27 (.519) shooting, a 6-12 (.500) mark from beyond the arc, a team-high 13 rebounds, a game-high 12 assists, one steal and one block in 45 minutes. James scored or assisted on 73 points, the most in a playoff game in his career. He also moved into 3rd all-time in playoff scoring (passed Kobe Bryant-5640 PTS), 4th all-time in playoff three-point field goals (passed Kobe Bryant-292 3FGM) and 7th in career playoff rebounding (passed Wes Unseld-1777 REB). James joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA playoff history with multiple 40-point triple-doubles (both have two such games).
Tristan Thompson has pulled down double-digit boards in all three games of this series (11.0 RPG). He recorded nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 27 minutes in the Game 3 victory and has now had 10-plus boards in 27 of his 44 career playoff games.
Channing Frye scored 11 points in the fourth quarter of Game 3 and finished with 13 points, four rebounds, two steals and one block in 20 minutes. It was the second time he has put up double-digit points this series.
If necessary, Game 5 returns to The Land on Tuesday, April 25th. If the Wine and Gold can complete the sweep, they move onto the next round to host either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors next weekend at The Q.
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