Australian point guard Patty Mills had a horror shooting night but his San Antonio Spurs survived a late charge by the Memphis Grizzlies to take a 2-0 lead in their NBA playoff series.
The Spurs won 96-82 on Monday night (Tuesday AEST) on their home court and need just two more wins in the best-of seven series to extinguish the Grizzlies and move on to the second round.
The Gregg Popovich coached Spurs were cruising and had a 26-point lead, but they let the Grizzlies back in to the game and early in the fourth quarter to lead by just four points.
Spurs' forward Kawhi Leonard pulled off a Herculean effort with 37 points and 11 rebounds; he was perfect from the free-throw line hitting all 19 attempts.
"Don't turn over the basketball, start playing on the defensive end and let the offence take care of itself," Leonard, describing what the Spurs need to do to beat the Grizzlies in the next two games in Memphis, said.
Mills helped seal the win with five minutes to go when he dribbled into the key and then flicked the ball out to Paul Gasol who was waiting behind the three-point line.
Gasol buried the shot and it killed off the Grizzlies' run.
Mills sank just one of his nine field goal attempts and went 0-5 from behind the three-point line.
Game three is in Memphis on Thursday (Friday AEST).
In the night's other playoff game, the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers gave up a big lead before hanging on to beat the Indiana Pacers 117-111 and take a 2-0 lead in their series.
The Cavaliers were up by 18 points in the final quarter but relaxed and let the Pacers get to within four points in the final minute.
Kyrie Irving scored 37 points and Kevin Love added 27, while LeBron James had 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four blocked shots and four steals.
James shrugged off the late collapse, just as he did when the Cavaliers squeaked past the Pacers by a point in game one when a buzzer beater from Pacers' guard CJ Miles missed.
We're right there, James said. We're really close to what we can become.
Game three is in Indianapolis on Thursday (Friday AEST).