James, Korver spur late run as Cavs hold off Pacers to tie series
Spurs avoid sweep, Giannis Antetokounmpo's tip-in lifts Bucks over Celtics
LeBron James scored 32 points and combined with Kyle Korver for all but two of Cleveland's final 13 points as the Cavaliers escaped with a 104-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday to even the first-round series at two games apiece.
James added 13 rebounds and seven assists in his 100th career playoff game with 30 or more points. Korver made four three-pointers and wound up with 18 points.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> (32p) puts up his 100th career 30+ point game in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAPlayoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAPlayoffs</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/cavs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cavs</a> take Game 4! 👑🔥 <a href="https://t.co/PysCZnvHEJ">pic.twitter.com/PysCZnvHEJ</a>—@NBAonTNT
Domantas Sabonis scored 19 points for Indiana. Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo each scored 17, though Oladipo struggled through a poor shooting night.
This one looked and felt a lot like the three previous games — tough, physical and down to the wire.
Indiana led 93-91 with 4:28 to go — but managed only four baskets the rest of the way as James and Korver spurred the decisive 10-2 run that gave the Cavs a 101-95 lead with 1:52 left.
The Pacers couldn't get closer than three the rest of the way.
Even so, this series has not gone the way the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs hoped.
The Pacers never trailed in Game 1, had a chance to tie the score in the last 35 seconds after trailing by 18 in Game 2, rallied from a 17-point deficit in Game 3 and erased a 16-point, first-half deficit to take the lead early in the fourth.
This time, James and Korver made sure the Cavaliers held on to win for the first time in four tries in Indianapolis this season.
If Cleveland wins two of the next three games, James will advance to the conference semifinals for the 13th consecutive year.
It appeared the Cavs might run away when they took a 49-33 with 6:01 left in the first half.
Instead, the Pacers closed the half on a 10-2 run to get within 60-50 and opened the second half on another 10-2 spurt to make it 62-60.
Cleveland charged back out to a 76-68 lead with 4:41 left in the third only to watch the Pacers score the final six points of the quarter, tie the score on Lance Stephenson's 11-footer to open the fourth and take the lead on Sabonis' 3-pointer with 10:51 left.
From that point, it was an all-out slugfest that included James getting called for a technical foul and a wrestling match between Stephenson and Jeff Green for the ball with 9 seconds left. Green finally sealed the win with two free throws after Stephenson was called for a foul.
Joe Borgia joins <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/InsideTheNBA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#InsideTheNBA</a> to clarify the calls made on the scuffle between Lance Stephenson & Jeff Green late in the game. <a href="https://t.co/adBMBIYl56">pic.twitter.com/adBMBIYl56</a>—@NBAonTNT
Spurs avoid sweep as Ginobili, Aldridge hold off Warriors
Manu Ginobili scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter of what could have been his final home game with the Spurs, and San Antonio beat the Golden State Warriors 103-90 on Sunday to avoid a series sweep as coach Gregg Popovich remained out following the death of his wife.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs, but they were willed to the finish by the 40-year-old Ginobili, who has said he will decide in the off-season if he will return for a 17th season.
Manu coming off the bench for 1️⃣3️⃣ points in the contest <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoSpursGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoSpursGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/53dFT1Na2h">pic.twitter.com/53dFT1Na2h</a>—@spurs
Kevin Durant had 34 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who can wrap up the series in Game 5 at home Tuesday.
Popovich missed his second straight game after his wife, Erin, passed away Wednesday following a prolonged illness. Lead assistant Ettore Messina led the Spurs again, but to a much different showing than in Game 3.
Golden State outscored San Antonio 29-21 in the third quarter and went on a 13-5 run beginning two minutes into the fourth quarter to pull within 88-86 with six minutes remaining.
Aldridge banked in a three-pointer with 4:22 remaining to stop the Warriors' run and Ginobili took over with a pair of three-pointers in the final minutes.
What a 3️⃣!!!<br><br>LaMarcus is 3-for-3 from long range <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoSpursGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoSpursGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/3rgNiqtiPB">pic.twitter.com/3rgNiqtiPB</a>—@spurs
San Antonio opened with the same energy it had to start Game 3, but its shots fell this time. The Spurs extended their lead to as many as 17 points in the first half while holding an edge in almost every statistical category.
San Antonio shot 53 per cent on three-pointers after shooting just 26 per cent in the opening three games. The Spurs were 15 for 28 on three-pointers on Sunday while the Warriors were seven for 28.
Aside from Durant, only Klay Thompson (12) and Shaun Livingston (10) scored in double figures for the Warriors.
Rudy Gay scored 14 points for San Antonio, Dejounte Murray had 12 and Kyle Anderson added 10.
Bucks, Celtics all square
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, including tipping in the go-ahead basket with 5 seconds left, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 104-102 on Sunday to tie their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.
Boston's Marcus Morris missed a 14-footer at the buzzer with Khris Middleton's hand in his face to seal a nail-biting win for the Bucks.
Seconds earlier, the 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo jumped and reached up with his left arm around Boston's Jayson Tatum to put back Malcolm Brogdon's missed layup for the game-winner.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Boston.
Jaylen Brown had 34 points for the Celtics, while Tatum added 21. Tatum's 18-footer with 52 seconds left gave the Celtics a brief 100-99 lead.
He just couldn't hold off Antetokounmpo on the other end for the decisive tip-in.