James leads Cavaliers past Pacers; Jazz top Thunder

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell celebrates after the Jazz defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND — LeBron James scored 46 points and added 12 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from a poor performance in the opener by holding off the Indiana Pacers 100-97 on Wednesday night to even their Eastern Conference series at one game apiece.

Dazzling from the start, James scored the game's first 16 points and had 29 at halftime, dominating the way he has in so many previous postseasons. But in a season in which nothing has been easy for the Cavs, Cleveland was lucky that Indiana's Victor Oladipo missed a wide-open 3-pointer that would have tied it with 27 seconds left.

Kevin Love scored 15, but Cleveland's All-Star center injured his left hand, the same one he broke earlier this season, with 3:43 left. Love's status could affect the remainder of this series — and perhaps Cleveland's season.

Oladipo scored 22 — he was in early foul trouble — and Myles Turner 18 for the Pacers, who shocked the Cavs with an overpowering win in Game 1.

Game 3 is Friday night in Indianapolis.

JAZZ 102, THUNDER 95

OKLAHOMA CITY — Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to help the Utah Jazz defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder and tie their Western Conference playoff series at one win game apiece.

Derrick Favors had career playoff bests of 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz, and Ricky Rubio had 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the first playoff win of his seven-year career.

Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds for the Thunder. Paul George, who scored 36 points in Game 1, finished with 18 on 6-for-21 shooting. Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points, but made just six of 18 shots.

Utah outrebounded Oklahoma City 56-46 to take home-court advantage from the Thunder. Oklahoma City had two chances in the final minute to trim Utah's lead with the Jazz leading 99-95, but Anthony missed 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions.

Game 3 will be Saturday in Utah.

ROCKETS 102, TIMBERWOLVES 82

HOUSTON — Chris Paul had 27 points and Gerald Green came off the bench to score 21 as the Houston Rockets used a huge second quarter to cruise past the Minnesota Timberwolves and take a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Houston fell behind early, but went on top for good with a 37-point second quarter, powered by four 3-pointers from Green, and the Wolves didn't threaten again. The top-seeded Rockets won the opener by three behind a 44-point performance from James Harden on a night when most of the team struggled offensively. Things were much different on Wednesday when Harden had just 12 points as one of four Rockets who finished in double figures.

Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns had another disappointing game, scoring all of his five points in the first quarter, after being criticized for finishing with eight in the series opener. The All-Star big man went to the bench with about seven minutes left in the third quarter and didn't return. Jamal Crawford scored 16 points for the eighth-seeded Timberwolves, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

The series moves to Minnesota for Game 3 on Saturday.

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