Cavaliers overcome deficit to go up 3-0

LeBron James Paul George

LeBron James Paul George

James scored 41 points and added 13 rebounds, 12 assists and two blocks as the Cavaliers overcame a 25-point halftime margin in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

LeBron also passed Kobe Bryant for No. 3 on the NBA's career playoff scoring list with his epic performance. After scoring a franchise record 74 points in the first half alone, the Pacers score only 40 in the second half total and are now down three games to none to the world champs.

Cleveland outscored IN 70-40 IN the second half.

The Cavs' comeback was even more remarkable for the face that Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving did not feature at all in the fourth quarter, with James praising the roles played by Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Deron Williams and Kyle Korver.

Indiana Pacers' Paul George reacts after hitting a shot during the first half in Game 3 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Indianapolis. IN extended the lead to 20 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Jeff Teague and Lance Stephenson, and then it was all Cavs. With 36 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, George was dominant all night, but his supporting cast didn't produce, especially after halftime. Cleveland regained the lead twice during a 15-5 fourth-quarter run and closed it out with a 12-5 spurt (see full recap).

In addition to George's 23 first-half points, Pacers' non-starters outscored the Cavaliers' reserves 28-8 before the break.

Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson grabs a rebound during the first half in Game 3 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Indianapolis. Cleveland has won six straight over Indiana.

Bryant is now third all-time in regular-season scoring with 33,643 points, a landmark that James could eclipse in a few more seasons. The Pacers made only 5 of 26 third-quarter field-goal attempts, and George failed to score. The teams traded leads on each of the next four baskets, but after George's 3 with 5:15 to go gave IN a 104-103 lead, James scored on a layup that started a 12-5 run to seal it. Miles scored nine points. You got to be willing to sacrifice and lay it on the line to win a game, and that's what he did for us. This is only the second time the Cavaliers and Pacers have met in the playoffs.

Things only got worse for the Pacers.