It took a complete effort from the Cavs and an incredible showing from LeBron James, but Cleveland did just enough to eliminate the Pacers in Game 7 on Sunday afternoon.
James scored 45 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out eight assists in a signature performance. Four non-James players (Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and George Hill) hit double-digit scoring for the Cavs, finally giving the four-time MVP the help he so desperately needed.
Despite the loss, the Pacers deserve a tremendous amount of credit for dragging this series out - and often looking like the better team for long stretches. Victor Oladipo put up a 30-12-6 line to keep it close, and Darren Collison added 23 points on an efficient 9-of-13 shooting night. Indiana just didn't have an answer for James when it needed one, and that proved to be the difference.
Here are some of the best highlights from an exciting Game 7...
Cavs vs. Pacers: Score, highlights, updates
Game 7 box score
Final: Cavs 105, Pacers 101
3:52 p.m. ET - That was a wild finish. The Pacers gave the Cavs everything they could handle, but Cleveland is heading to the Eastern Conference semifinals. It was a tremendous season for Victor Oladipo and the rest of the Pacers. They just ran into LeBron James. It happens.
3:45 p.m. ET - Kyle Korver finds LeBron James for the layup! What a huge play.
Cavs 102, Pacers 96 with 30.2 seconds left on the clock.
3:31 p.m. ET - Myles Turner picks up his sixth personal foul on a tough call, and he heads to the bench. Unfortunately for the Pacers, that foul also gives J.R. two free throws, extending the Cavs' lead.
With less than five minutes to go, Cleveland is ahead 97-88.
3:25 p.m. ET - Kevin Love has struggled throughout this entire series, but he's stepping up in the fourth quarter. That's eight points so far in the final frame.
Another triple for Love!- NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2018
He has 8 in the quarter. #WhateverItTakes | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/fwbKIo5obl
3:13 p.m. ET - LeBron James sits to start the third quarter after dealing with cramps in his legs, but the Cavs actually extend their lead. A quick 6-0 run for Cleveland forces the Pacers to call a timeout. Indy can't waste this opportunity.
Love for 3! @cavs lead back up to 8 in the 4th #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/RISNROZAv1- NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2018
End of third quarter: Cavs 76, Pacers 74
3:05 p.m. ET - A breakout quarter from Victor Oladipo helps the Pacers win the third quarter by nine points. The degree of difficulty on Oladipo's stepback jumper over LeBron James was absolutely insane.
We've got a game, folks. Buckle up.
Masterful. pic.twitter.com/9l66VNzOPz- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 29, 2018
2:58 p.m. ET - This quarter has been all Pacers. They have turned up the intensity and keep forcing turnovers. Victor Oladipo is carrying the offensive load with19 points and five assists.
Intensity 📈📈📈 pic.twitter.com/VsJSyc0jbP- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 29, 2018
2:45 p.m. ET - The Pacers take the lead! Bojan Bogdanovic hits a 3-pointer in transition to put Indiana ahead by one. LeBron James has yet to score in the second half, and he is not getting any help from his teammates.
First lead of the game!- NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2018
16-2 run puts @Pacers ahead on #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/338u8lnzMv
2:37 p.m. ET - And here comes Indy. The Pacers kick off the second half with a 9-2 run, cutting the Cavs' lead down to four. Victor Oladipo has already matched his point total from the first half (five) in less than three minutes.
9-0 run for the @Pacers to cut it to 4! #Pacers | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/VK9sFRO70R- NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2018
Halftime: Cavs 54, Pacers 43
2:20 p.m. ET - The Pacers worked hard to keep the deficit manageable, but LeBron James went OFF in the first half. He drove to the basket, worked smaller defenders in the post and hit midrange jumpers at will. The Pacers will need more out of Victor Oladipo (five points, 2-of-6 from the field) if they want to survive and advance.
LeBron. Is. On. Fire. 🔥🔥🔥- NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2018
26 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB #WhateverItTakes | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/JSQNPQtzMs
2:07 p.m. ET - LeBron James is making history. What else would you expect?
The most swipes in @NBA postseason history. #StriveForGreatness 🚀 pic.twitter.com/ckeytaBjnT- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) April 29, 2018
The first player in @NBAHistory to score 20+ in 200 playoff games. #StriveForGreatness 🚀 pic.twitter.com/whGrVHfDqE- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) April 29, 2018
2:00 p.m. ET - The Pacers refuse to go down quietly. Indiana uses a 14-6 run to cut the Cavs' lead down to four points. Cleveland's bench simply isn't offering much against the Pacers' reserves.
Cory Joseph with the #BoomBaby 👌 pic.twitter.com/2HnxqRDzsu- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 29, 2018
1:55 p.m. ET - LeBron James has drilled his first seven shots. His midrange game is unstoppable right now. It will be interesting to see if he can sustain this level of shooting if he plays most of the game.
End of first quarter: Cavs 31, Pacers 19
1:45 p.m. ET - The Cavs couldn't have asked for a better opening quarter. LeBron James leads all scorers with 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field. If he's making pull-up jumpers, there's not much the Pacers can do to stop him.
Through 1 in Game 7!- NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2018
LeBron: 5-5, 13 PTS #WhateverItTakes 31 | #Pacers 19
📺: #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/iPWjsnohG2
1:37 p.m. ET - Random fact alert: LeBron James has hit 24 consecutive free throws going back to Game 4. Not bad for a guy who shot 73.1 percent from the line during the regular season.
1:29 p.m. ET - Give Tyronn Lue credit. Starting Tristan Thompson has paid off so far. He's got six points and seven rebounds (two offensive) in only nine minutes of action. His activity has been tremendous.
Tristan Thompson's best postseason QTR for Rebs is 9 (vs Warriors in 2016: 1st Qtr, Game 6) ... already has 7. #WhateverItTakes- Allie Clifton (@FSOAllieOop) April 29, 2018
1:18 p.m. ET - The Cavs start Game 7 on a 9-2 run, forcing the Pacers to call a timeout. LeBron James is attacking the basket early and often. That's certainly a good sign for Cleveland.
LeBron bulldozes in for 2 to start Game 7! #WhateverItTakes | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/p5ixGhKN3m- NBA (@NBA) April 29, 2018
1:10 p.m. ET - A bit of a surprise from Cavs coach Tyronn Lue: Tristan Thompson has been inserted into the starting lineup. LeBron James will serve as the point guard with J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver and Kevin Love looking to spread the floor.
1:03 p.m. ET - Victor Oladipo is all business ahead of Game 7. The final game of the first round is coming up...
It's go time. pic.twitter.com/agFYw2BvcG- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 29, 2018
12:54 p.m. ET - The Cavs could use a few 3-pointers out of Kyle Korver on Sunday. Let's see if his hot shooting continues...
. @KyleKorver is shooting .455 from three-point range since Game 2. #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/cMG0F2zR6g- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) April 29, 2018