The Cavaliers completed a four-game sweep of the Pacers with a 106-102 victory Sunday to become the first team to advance to the second round of the 2017 NBA playoffs.
While the Cavs dominated most of Game 4, taking an 88-77 lead into the fourth quarter, the Pacers fought back, outscoring Cleveland 25-18 in the final period and taking a 102-100 lead with 1:31 remaining, before coming up short.
LeBron James — who else? — led the Cavs with 33 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:08 left on the clock that put Cleveland back in front.
The Pacers had a chance to tie the game at 105-105 on their final possession, but Paul George’s jump shot missed badly. James grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made the first of his two free throws to seal the victory.
Kyrie Irving added 28 points for Cleveland; Kevin Love snatched a career playoff-high 16 rebounds; and Deron Williams scored 14 points off bench, shooting 4 for 4 from the field (2 for 2 from long range).
Not that this will make Indiana feel any better, but James just doesn't lose games in the first round. "The King" has won 21 straight first-round playoff games, and the last time he lost in the first round was May 6, 2012, when the Knicks beat his Miami Heat squad.
Cleveland's quick dismissal of the Pacers also marked an NBA-record 10th playoff sweep for James.
As far as sweeps go, though, the one by the Cavs over the Pacers was not all dominant. Cleveland outscored Indiana by just 16 combined points, the smallest-ever margin of victory for a four-game sweep.
Questions around the Cleveland defense have also yet to be answered, reason for concern as the playoffs progress.
Cavaliers: 1st team to sweep a 4-game series despite allowing 100 points in each game since the 1995 Rockets in the Finals vs the Magic.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 23, 2017
The Cavs have a few days of rest in front of them. They will face the winner of the Bucks-Raptors series in the second round. With their series tied at two games apiece, the Bucks will head to Toronto for Monday's Game 5.