Lebron James caps Cavs sweep over Pacers with late 3 pointer

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Indianapolis (AP) — LeBron James made a 3-pointer with 68 seconds left, helping the Cleveland Cavaliers sweep their playoff series against the Indiana Pacers with a 106-102 victory on Sunday.

James finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds. He became the first player under the current playoff format to win 21 straight first-round games, and he also set a league record with his 10th career playoff sweep.

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is defended by Indiana Pacers' Paul George during the second half in Game 4 of their first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April 23, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James is defended by Indiana Pacers’ Paul George during the second half in Game 4 of their first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April 23, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

It sure wasn’t easy. After taking a 96-83 lead with 9:29 to go, the Cavs found themselves in a 102-100 deficit with 1:31 left.

But James answered with his big 3-pointer, and Cleveland sealed the win on James’ free throw with 1 second left.

Lance Stephenson scored 22 points for Indiana. Paul George had 15, but missed a 3-pointer that could have forced overtime in the closing seconds.

Kyrie Irving added 28 points for the Cavs, who await the winner of the Bucks-Raptors series.

ROCKETS 113, THUNDER 109

Oklahoma City — Nene scored 28 points on perfect shooting from the field, and Houston grabbed a 3-1 lead in its first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City.

Nene made all 12 of his shots and had 10 rebounds. He helped the Rockets overcome an off night by James Harden, who finished with 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting.

Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each scored 18 points for the Rockets.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Houston.

Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by halftime and finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. The Thunder said Westbrook joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to claim three consecutive playoff triple-doubles.

Steven Adams scored 18 points and Victor Oladipo added 15 for the Thunder.

CELTICS 104, BULLS 95

Chicago — Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, and the Celtics beat the Bulls to tie their first-round playoff series at 2-all.

Boston blew a 20-point lead, but Thomas keyed a third-quarter run that put the Celtics back on top after Chicago briefly went ahead.

Gerald Green made four 3-pointers on his way to 18 points, helping the top-seeded Celtics return the favor in Chicago after dropping the first two games at home. Al Horford added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Boston.

Jimmy Butler carried the Bulls with 33 points and nine assists.