CLEVELAND -- After a 100-97 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in which the Cleveland Cavaliers needed 46 points from LeBron James to even their Eastern Conference first-round series, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue challenged the rest of the team to step up.
"I need to see more out of a lot of guys," Lue said in his postgame news conference.
The remark came in response to a question about Cavs guard Rodney Hood's contribution. Hood scored nine points in Game 1, but five of those didn't come until the fourth quarter of Cleveland's 98-80 loss, with the game already out of reach.
"I think it's just familiarity with that lineup to start tonight," James said. "I mean, you got four guys that's played in postseason games [together] before, and you add G-Hill, who's got his own experience as well, so that definitely helps from that standpoint. It allowed JG and Rodney to kind of get in and get settled into the game before their number was called, so I think it worked well for us tonight."
With the lineup adjustment, Cleveland jumped out to a 33-18 lead after the first quarter, with James scoring 20 of those points on 9-for-12 shooting. In Game 1, the Cavs trailed 33-14 at the end of the first quarter, with James scoring two of those 14 points.
Hood finished with five points on 2-for-5 shooting in Game 2. Green had two points on 1-for-4 shooting after going 0-for-7 in Game 1.
Sources told ESPN that, beyond the issues of familiarity and floor spacing, Lue went with Smith and Korver in the starting lineup because he simply trusted them more to be able to perform on the playoff stage than he did Hood and Green.
Smith also scored just five points on 2-for-5 shooting in 35 minutes, but he stole the ball from Victor Oladipo and finished with a layup on the other end to increase the Cavs' lead from five to seven with 2 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. It was one of two steals on the night for Smith, and he added a block.
"I was kind of pissed that I only had [five] shots, honestly," Smith said. "But fortunately it worked out. My effort on offense, it'll come. But my defense, this team needs my defense more than anything. But I'll take the win more than anything. The postseason is about getting one win at a time, and that's what we've got to do."
When praising Smith, Lue added another message aimed at others on the roster: "He's not scared to hit people. You've got to hit people in this league. It's a contact sport, and guys have to understand and realize that."
Korver scored 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting, with all of his attempts coming on 3-pointers. He had a plus-minus of plus-15 in 31 minutes.
"Outside of his great shooting, just doing the little things and making the extra efforts, taking two charges tonight," Lue said of Korver, who also dove on the floor for a loose ball in front of the Cavs' bench. "Really set the tone for us in that first half, taking two charges, I think, on Oladipo was big for us."
Lue went on to list the Cavs players by name who took charges in Game 2: Love, James and Korver.
Those veterans provided exactly the kind of thing Lue hoped to see out of the Cavs' postseason neophytes, Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., when he addressed them before the playoffs started.
"What I told those guys is, just your first playoff experience, just play hard and compete," Lue said before Game 1. "Loose balls, diving on the floor, taking charges, getting deflections, get out and get an early basket in transition. That kind of opens up the rim for you, kind of lets you let your hair down a little bit."
There is hope within the organization, multiple sources told ESPN, that the Cavs' underwhelming postseason performers thus far -- a list headlined by Hood, Clarkson and Green -- will actually play better on the road as the series shifts to Indiana. The spotlight won't be squarely on them there as it has been at Quicken Loans Arena, where the crowd has become accustomed to seeing different players lead the franchise to three straight NBA Finals appearances.