Indiana forward Bojan Bogdanovic scored 30 points to lift the Pacers to 92-90 come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Bogdanovic scored 15 in the fourth quarter as the Pacers overcame a 17-point halftime hole to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series. Game 4 will be Sunday night in Indianapolis.
Bogdanovic hit 11 of 15 shots, including 7 of 9 3-point attempts. Victor Oladipo scored 18 for the Pacers, hitting 5 of 15 shots and 7 of 8 free throws.
LeBron James scored 28 points on 10-of-22 shooting and also posted game highs of 12 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Love added 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
After 3-pointers by James and Love cut the Pacers’ edge to 91-90 with 7.7 seconds to go, Pacers guard Darren Collison hit the first of two free throws with five seconds to go. JR Smith missed a game-winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
The Pacers started the third quarter with a 13-4 edge to cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 61-53 with 6:24 left. Cleveland led 69-63 after three quarters. The Cavaliers were 5 of 19 from the field in the third quarter while the Pacers were 9 of 19.
Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 75-73. Oladipo hit two free throws with 8:38 to go to tie it at 75-all. With the scored tied at 77-all, Bogdanovic converted a four-point play after being fouled on a 3-pointer to give Indiana its first lead at 81-77 with 6:01 left in the fourth quarter. After Cleveland threw the ball away, Bogdanovic sank another 3-pointer.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by James closed the gap to 84-83. After James hit one of two free throws, the Pacers went on a 7-0 run, started by Bogdanovic’s driving layup and followed by his 30-foot 3-pointer.
The Pacers shot 46.6 percent while the Cavaliers hit 44.2 percent.
Love, who reportedly partially tore a ligament in his left thumb in Game 2, scored 16 as Cleveland dominated with a 57-40 advantage at halftime. Love sank a 3-pointer with 39 seconds remaining in the half to give the Cavs the 17-point margin, their largest of the half. Cleveland shot 53.8 percent in the first half while the Pacers hit 45.7 percent.
Bogdanovic picked up two fouls in the first three minutes, but came back to lead Indiana with 11 points in the first half.
The Cavaliers sank 11 of 18 shots (61.1 percent) to take a 31-20 lead after the first quarter. The Pacers were hampered by seven of the their 10 first-half turnovers in the first quarter. Cleveland had six first-half turnovers.
Indiana committed 17 turnovers, one more than Cleveland overall.
—Field Level Media