James helps Cavs past Pacers, Rockets dominate Jazz
The Cleveland Cavaliers overcame the Indiana Pacers to advance in the NBA playoffs.
LeBron James proved he is still the king while leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-101 game-seven victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
Cleveland, struggling for second and third scoring options all series long, were helped again by James, who scored a game-high 45 points with nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
James, who shot 16 of 25 from the field, outscored the rest of the Cavaliers' starting lineup combined. Tristan Thompson scored 15 points with 10 rebounds, and Kevin Love added 14 points, but James was once again forced to dominate offensively.
The Cavaliers got off to a quick start, outscoring Indiana 31-19 in the first quarter. The Pacers, as they have most of the series, rallied in the third quarter to cut Cleveland's lead to two points. But James and his team held firm in the fourth quarter to advance to the next round with a 4-3 series win.
Victor Oladipo led the Pacers with 30 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Darren Collison added 23 points, but Indiana's big men struggled to find points in game seven.
The Cavaliers will now play the top-seeded Raptors in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
James Harden led the Houston Rockets to a 110-96 game-one victory over the Utah Jazz by scoring a game-high 41 points with eight rebounds and seven assists. Harden struggled with his shot last series but appears back in form for a potential long playoff run.
MITCHELL TAUGHT A LESSON
Star Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell received a lesson from Harden and the Rockets in game one. Mitchell scored 21 points but shot nine of 22 from the field (one of seven from three-point range). The Jazz, playing without Ricky Rubio, needed Mitchell to be more efficient.
James could not be stopped.
He added another point late in the game to finish with 45.
Cleveland Cavaliers 105-101 Indiana Pacers
Houston Rockets 110-96 Utah Jazz
76ERS AT CELTICS
Add Jaylen Brown to the list of Celtics stars nursing injuries. Boston have been plagued by injuries all season but just keep winning games. The 76ers ended the regular season hot and made quick work of the Heat in round one. The combination of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and J.J. Redick has been too much for teams to handle.