NBA: LeBron James' 46 points help Cavaliers bounce back against Pacers in Game 2

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbling the ball past Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbling the ball past Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers.PHOTO: AFP

CLEVELAND (REUTERS) - LeBron James scored 46 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers evened the first-round National Basketball Association Eastern Conference play-off series at one game apiece with a 100-97 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night (Apt.

Game 3 is set for Friday night in Indianapolis.

James hit 17 of 24 shots and 10 of 13 free throws while pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Cleveland's Kevin Love, who left the game with a hand injury with 3min 43sec left in the fourth quarter, scored 15 points, and Kyle Korver added 12.

The Cavaliers shot 50.7 per cent while the Pacers were at 52.6 per cent. However, Indiana were 6 of 22 on three-point attempts while Cleveland were 11 of 28.

Victor Oladipo topped the Pacers with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Myles Turner was right behind with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and Darren Collison added 16 points for Indiana.

Collison scored to trim the Pacers' deficit to 90-86 with 3:43 remaining.

After Cleveland rebuilt the lead to 95-89, Collison sank a three-pointer with 51.2 seconds left, cutting the margin to three.

After Cleveland's George Hill turned it over with an offensive foul, Oladipo missed a potential three-pointer. James was fouled and sank both free throws to push the lead to 97-92 with 22.2 seconds to go. Oladipo missed another three-point shot with 19.2 seconds to go.

Oladipo hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to provide the final three-point margin.

Cleveland held a 74-67 after three quarters. The Pacers, who trailed 68-52 with 8:36 remaining in the third, cut the deficit to 72-67 with 2:59 left in the period. Indiana held a 21-16 edge in the third.

Cleveland, who struggled with their shooting in Game 1, shot 52.5 per cent in the first half to take a 58-46 lead into half-time. Indiana shot 48.7 per cent before the intermission. The biggest first-half difference was the Cavaliers sank eight of 18 three-point tries while the Pacers were two of 11.

The Pacers, who trailed by as many as 18 points, cut the deficit to 39-35 with a 15-3 run in the second quarter. However, the Cavaliers were able to rebuild the lead to 12 at half-time.

James scored 20 on 9-of-12 shooting in the opening quarter as the Cavaliers grabbed a 33-18 lead.

James scored all 16 points as the Cavaliers got off to 16-1 lead. His first 13 points were unanswered.

The Pacers were hurt by the fact Oladipo picked up two fouls in first 62 seconds and had to go to the bench for the rest of the quarter. He picked up his third foul with 4:47 left in the second quarter, but he was not called for another foul in the game.