first_imgLeBron James scored 46 points and added 12 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from a poor performance in the opener by holding off the Indiana Pacers 100-97 on Wednesday night to even their Eastern Conference series at one game apiece.Dazzling from the start, James scored the game’s first 16 points and had 29 at halftime, dominating the way he has in so many previous postseasons. Read more Share on WhatsApp James grabbed the rebound and made three free throws over the final 22 seconds as the Cavs avoided falling behind 2-0 on the series.Game 3 is Friday night in Indianapolis.The 33-year-old James was expected to be more aggressive than in Game 1, when he was unusually passive, deferred to teammates and suffered the first playoff-opening loss of his career.But James was his unstoppable self again, and there wasn’t a whole lot the Pacers could do about him in the first half.Cavs coach Tyronn Lue shook up his starting lineup, going with Korver and JR Smith over Jeff Green and Rodney Hood. Green didn’t score in the opener and Hood only started because Korver was dealing with a sore right foot.While the changes weren’t that surprising, Oladipo leaving after 62 seconds was stunning.Indiana’s lightning-quick guard picked up an offensive foul and then got his second when he knocked over James, who was setting a screen.With Oladipo off the floor, the Pacers didn’t have an offensive answer to James.Nobody does.The three-time champion was in attack mode from the start. After not attempting his first shot in the opener until 1:52 remained in the first quarter, he dropped a short jumper just 16 seconds into Game 2.And he was just getting started.James made his first five attempts and scored Cleveland’s first 16 points, making a pair of 3-pointers and then picking up assists on threes by Love and Korver. James outscored the Pacers 20-18 in the first 12 minutes.No5 Jazz 102, No4 Thunder 95Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to help the Utah Jazz defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-95 on Wednesday night and tie their Western Conference playoff series at one win game apiece.Derrick Favors had career playoff bests of 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz, and Ricky Rubio had 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the first playoff win of his seven-year career.Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds for the Thunder. Paul George, who scored 36 points in Game 1, finished with 18 on 6-for-21 shooting. Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points, but made just six of 18 shots.Utah outrebounded Oklahoma City 56-46 to take home-court advantage from the Thunder. Game 3 will be Saturday in Utah.Oklahoma City had two chances in the final minute to trim Utah’s lead with the Jazz leading 99-95, but Anthony missed three-pointers on back-to-back possessions.Utah led 53-46 at halftime behind 12 points from Rubio and 10 points and eight rebounds from Favors. Oklahoma City made just nine of 25 shots inside the 3-point line in the first half. George led the Thunder with 11 points at the break.Adams picked up his fourth foul with 6:46 left in the third quarter and the Thunder down 65-58, yet Oklahoma City responded with a run. George’s 3-pointer put the Thunder up 69-67. Oklahoma City closed the quarter on a 21-9 run to take a 79-74 lead. The Thunder held the Jazz to 7 for 23 shooting in the third quarter before Mitchell took over in the fourth.No1 Rockets 102, No8 Timberwolves 82Chris Paul had 27 points and Gerald Green came off the bench to score 21 as the Houston Rockets used a huge second quarter to cruise past the Minnesota Timberwolves and take a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.Houston fell behind early, but went on top for good with a 37-point second quarter, powered by four 3-pointers from Green, and the Wolves didn’t threaten again. The top-seeded Rockets won the opener by three behind a 44-point performance from James Harden on a night when most of the team struggled offensively. Things were much different on Wednesday when Harden had just 12 points as one of four Rockets who finished in double figures.Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns had another disappointing game, scoring all of his five points in the first quarter, after being criticized for finishing with eight in the series opener. The All-Star big man went to the bench with about seven minutes left in the third quarter and didn’t return. Jamal Crawford scored 16 points for the eighth-seeded Timberwolves, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004.The series moves to Minnesota for Game 3 on Saturday. Share on LinkedIn Since you’re here… Topics Basketball Share on Facebook LeBron James Reuse this content Share on Messenger NBAcenter_img Indiana Pacers Erin Popovich, wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, dies at 67 US sports But in a season in which nothing has been easy for the Cavs, Cleveland was lucky that Indiana’s Victor Oladipo missed a wide-open three-pointer that would have tied it with 27 seconds left.Kevin Love scored 15, but Cleveland’s All-Star center injured his left hand, the same one he broke earlier this season, with 3:43 left. Love’s status could affect the remainder of this series – and perhaps Cleveland’s season.Kyle Korver added 12 points, all on threes, and made several hustling plays for the Cavs.Oladipo scored 22 – he was in early foul trouble – and Myles Turner 18 for the Pacers, who shocked the Cavs with an overpowering win in Game 1.Indiana clawed back from an 18-point deficit and was within 95-92 when Oladipo, who scored 32 in the opener, somehow came free but missed maybe his easiest shot in two games. Share on Twitter Cleveland Cavaliers Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA)Love the design by McMillan down three. Cavs miscommunication left Oladipo wide open, shot just didn’t fall #TwitterNBAShow https://t.co/yikFzk6WNn pic.twitter.com/EKMbC5eyUpApril 19, 2018 Share via Email Share on Pinterest Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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