Cavaliers scoot past Pacers for 2-0 lead

Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers raced to another big lead.

These guys, man. They just can’t make it easy on themselves. It happened again Monday, when the Cavaliers built a 20-point lead, only to allow it to slip away.

Finally, the Cavs held on for a 117-111 win over the visiting Indiana Pacers. It’s not ideal. But for now, it’s working.

And no matter how you spin it, the Cavs now lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0. In the NBA playoffs, that lead is often insurmountable. Not always, but often.

Anyway, I’ll have lots more later in my Dribbles column later tonight (or actually early in the morning).

For now, below is the Associated Press instant recap and the full box score from Monday’s game. …

Irving scores 37, Cavs hold on to beat Pacers 117-111

CLEVELAND (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 37 points, Kevin Love added 27 and the Cleveland Cavaliers avoided another fourth-quarter collapse in Game 2, beating the Indiana Pacers 117-111 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

After squeaking out the opener by a point, LeBron James and Co. showed more intensity on defense, more swagger in general and won their 10th straight first-round game over the past three seasons.

However, they nearly blew an 18-point lead in the fourth as the Pacers got within four before Cleveland closed it out at the line … FULL RECAP

Pregame

TIPOFF – 7 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena.

BROADCAST – FOX Sports Ohio; TNT; WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega.

RECORDS — Cavs finished the regular season 51-31 and hold a 1-0 lead in the series; Indiana finished 42-40.

COACHES – Pacers’ Nate McMillan has a 520-492 regular-season record. Cavs’ Tyronn Lue has a 78-45 mark.

NOTEBOOK — It’s hard to know how much the Cavaliers can keep living on the edge. The did it for the final two months of the regular season and they did it again in Game 1. … On the bright side, these Cavs seem to be a team of survivors. … Offensively, they can score on anyone, anywhere, anytime. With the likes of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and others, that’s rarely an issue. … But man, it sure would be nice if J.R. Smith got going sometime soon. … It would also be nice for Kevin Love to be utilized in more than just the first quarter. … Part of that is on Love. He was not aggressive in the second half of Game 1. For a guy who’s one of the top rebounders in the league, he did a poor job on the boards. … I know, I know. The Cavs can’t be expected to win every game by 20 points. And Paul George and the Pacers do deserve some credit for being a team of true pros and playing hard. But the Cavs are better than what they’ve shown lately. That’s likely the frustrating thing for fans. … Here’s more in my Pre-Game Dribbles. … Also, be sure to check out the Rumor Roundup for even more. … The Cavs will again don their white jerseys. … Game 3 is Thursday at Indiana.

Dribbles: Cavs still looking to fix that D

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