LeBron James heaped praise on Kyle Korver and Jordan Clarkson after they provided pivotal contributions as the Cleveland Cavaliers squared their playoff series with the Indiana Pacers at 2-2.
Having squandered a 17-point lead in game three to lose 92-90 in Indiana, the Cavaliers avoided the same fate, having seen a 10-point half-time advantage trimmed to two heading into the fourth quarter, in game four at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to claim a 104-100 road win.
James led the way with 32 points but received more assistance than he had in game three, when Kevin Love and George Hill were the only other players to reach double figures.
Korver, who failed to score in games one and three, hit four of his nine three-point attempts in an 18-point effort, while J.R. Smith and Clarkson each tallied 12 points - the former's haul including a 70-foot buzzer beater at the end of the first.
"Those are the ones he's been missing," James said of Korver.
"At the end of the day, it's the ones that are going to keep coming to him because he's one of the all-time leaders in three-pointers made."
On Clarkson, competing in his first playoff series at the age of 25, James added: "I just thought that he was great. He was great in that moment.
"He's obviously been out of rhythm and he's trying to figure out ways to be productive for our team. We need Jordan's scoring. He has the ability to go off in the second quarter like he did. It was great to see it happen for him in that moment."
James believes the significance of the game and knowing defeat would have put the Cavaliers in a 3-1 hole and on the brink of a stunning first-round exit was a key factor in the improved performance of his team-mates.
"I mean I knew what they were capable of doing and you just always hope that your team-mates can play well, no matter what the circumstances are," he said.
"Because [it is] their first opportunity in the postseason and this kind of being a must win for us. It was a must win for us. We came into a hostile environment and for them to play the way they played it meant a lot to them."
18 de octubre 2018
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