NBA: Cavaliers overcome 26 point deficit to take 3-0 series lead over Pacers

INDIANPOLIS — It was a comeback for the ages.

The Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 26-point deficit to defeat the Indiana Pacers, 119-111, taking a commanding 3-0 series lead in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. . Following Thursday’s meltdown, a sold out Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd left with empty hearts after LeBron James put on an absolute show, finishing with 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

“The one thing I knew was we had a huge halftime deficit and came back to win the game,” said James who surpassed Kobe Bryant for 3rd in all-time NBA Playoffs scoring. “I didn’t know it was the biggest halftime comeback. For myself? I just try to put myself in a position to help my teammates win. No matter who’s on the floor with me, I try to empower them and make them better and believe we can be great every night.”

The Pacers scored a franchise-best 74 points in the first half, while shooting 56.8 percent from the field. However, the second half was a much different story.

“Here we are up 25 to start the second half and we have a chance to put our foot on their throat,” Paul George said. “We came out relaxed and didn’t pressure up on the ball. We didn’t make anything tough.”

George, who didn’t score his first points until 3:00 left in the first quarter, nearly finished with a triple double of his own with 36 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

The Pacers look to avoid its first-ever seven-game playoff sweep in its NBA history when they host the Cavs for Game 4 at 1 p.m. Sunday.