Deron Williams was efficient from three, and he delivered a critical assist as the Cleveland Cavaliers captured a 2-0 series lead over the Indiana Pacers.
D-Will was 3-of-4 from 3-point range for nine points, adding two assists—including a clutch dime on the dagger layup by Kyrie Irving—as the Cavs shot 55.3 percent from the floor in a 117-111 Game 2 win at Quicken Loans Arena.
“We’re right there. We’re right there near what we can become,” LeBron James said after the game. “I’d much rather have an 18-point lead than no lead at all. We made plays down the stretch to win a ball game, and in the playoffs, that’s all you can ask for. But we’re right there on turning the switch on what we really can become.”
No. 8 checked in late in the first quarter and immediately fed Kevin Love on a 3-pointer. Moments later, Deron canned his first three of the night to help the Cavs take 32-29 lead into the second.
D-Will sandwiched his next two treys around one off the hand of Channing Frye. That barrage of triples had the Cavs out to a 13-point lead, though Indy cut it to five at the break.
The Cavaliers gained the separation they would need later during an explosive third quarter that kicked off with a 7-2 run. It was a crucial 9-0 run late in the quarter that gave Cleveland a daunting 89-70 lead with 2:01 left in the quarter.
After leading by 10 at the start of the fourth in Game 1, the Cavs entered the fourth on Monday leading 96-78. Indiana began the final period on an 11-4 run that cut the lead to 11, but the Cavs responded and push the lead back to 15 with 6:09 to play.
However, Indy came right back with 10 straight points to make it a five-point game with 2:28 to play. After a drive by LeBron James and two free throws by Paul George, the lead was still five, now with 1:47 to play. The Pacers continued to fight, but Deron’s assist to Irving on a layup gave Cleveland a seven-point lead with 29 seconds left. The Pacers continued to apply pressure with George draining a three on Indiana’s next possession, but it was too little, too late. Kevin Love sank both free throws and Iman Shumpert drew an offensive foul on C.J. Miles to seal the game.
The series shifts to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for two games with Game 3 slated to tip at 7 p.m. EST on Thursday.