LeBron James says Paul George "made the right play" for Pacers' final shot

The Cleveland Cavaliers escaped with a narrow 109-108 win over the Indiana Pacers in game one of their first-round playoff encounter at Quicken Loans Arena. 

They were let off the hook by Pacers guard C.J. Miles who had an opportunity to win the game for his team when he was presented with the final shot of the game. 

With the ball in the hands of Indiana superstar Paul George – who had a terrific game with 29 points – LeBron James created a double team on him which forced him to give the ball up to Miles whose shot bounced off the rim at the buzzer. 

PG13 was in a familiar position for superstars with the ball given to him to make the winning play but on this occasion, he wasn’t able to take the shot. James explained the Cavs’ strategy on that final play to ABC’s Lisa Salters. 

“Anyone but Paul George can take that final shot and we live with it,” James said.

The Pacers All-Star was extremely frustrated after the game saying: “Situations like that, I’ve got to get the last shot.” 

However, LeBron had words of praise for his counterpart and explained why he made the right play. 

“If I get doubled, I’m giving it up,” James said. “That’s me. … If you get doubled, I think we all know math in here: If it’s two guys on the ball, that means it’s a 4-on-3. 

“We have good numbers. You know, so, the best player on the floor doesn’t (have) to take the shot. You know, I think he made the right play.”

King James has been criticised on numerous occasions in his career for passing up shots in the final seconds of games and can sympathise with George. 

However, the four-time MVP rarely regrets a play that he makes if he believes it’s the right one. 

Close call

The King should be more worried about Cleveland’s defence, though, as they once again looked less than convincing on that end of the floor for much of the encounter. 

Indiana had a great chance to steal game one and this will give the stronger teams in the east confidence to take advantage of similar opportunities in the later rounds if the Cavs continue to play such poor defence. 

Playing in his 200th playoff game, LBJ did his part to carry the reigning champions to the win with 32 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. 

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