Pacers Stun Cavs In Game 1

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers

Oladipo was the best player on the court Sunday, when IN beat Cleveland 98-80 to go up 1-0 IN their first-round series. (All of ESPN's experts picked the Cavs, for example.) That's despite the Pacers having a better point differential for the year, and despite IN having won three of their four regular season games.

Trailing 33-14 after the first 12 minutes, the Cavs actually outscored IN 66-65 after the first quarter.

"I've always stayed even-keeled with the postseason", James said, after registering his 20th career triple-double in the playoffs with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Forget LeBron James making his eighth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

Turns out, there was something new. And in doing so, they would hand LeBron his first-ever loss in a playoff opener.

James will have to win at home to tie the series at one game apiece.

Thomas and Crowder's careers in Cleveland didn't last past the National Basketball Association trade deadline, while the Nets' pick has just the eighth-best odds (2.8 percent) of winning the draft lottery next month.

"I have no idea", Oladipo answered when asked what he thought onlookers would now be saying about his team.

4 points and 4 rebounds, as well as 3 fouls in the first-half do not make for a highlight reel.

The Pacers are feeling confident after beating the Cavs for fourth time this season.

With Victor Oladipo leading the way, the Pacers outscored the Cavaliers 33-14 in the first quarter and they were never able to get closer than eight points for the remainder of the match. The Cavs got within seven in the fourth, but Oladipo, once a role player who has blossomed into an All-Star in his first season with in, hit a big 3-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a 3 to make it 88-71.

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Now with the Pacers and Cavs meeting in the first round of the playoffs, Oladipo is being faced with those questions.

To all of those hot takes, I say, chill the heck out for a minute. That's why we came to play this game is to win, not just to come here and just be OK. It was one game.

The Pacers lead the all-time regular season series 97-92 and won three of the four meetings this season: Cleveland took a 115-108 home win in the last matchup on January 26.

JR Smith was the only other Cleveland player reaching double-digit scoring - finishing with 15 points, as Kevin Love grabbed 17 rebounds, but was limited to nine points and the likes of Jeff Green, George Hill and Rodney Hood combined for 17 points.

This is going to be an ugly and long series by the looks of it. Korver played just four minutes. And the Pacers were more "aggressive."They were more physical". That was a big change for them: remember, last season in Game 3 of their series with Cleveland, they blew a 26 point lead and lost by five.

Well, it's now going to take a first-round comeback. Cleveland was down 19 after the opening quarter and despite their best efforts, couldn't throw a serious scare into IN the rest of the way. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo (32 points) or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence. But the first quarter counts, too, and in the first quarter of this one, the Pacers embarrassed and ran circles around the nonchalant Cavs.

"We're going to find out", James said. "They still don't believe. It's just a matter of us going out there and punching back".

"On this team, we all know what Victor can do when he steps on the court", Thaddeus Young said. "This is a different season, a good opportunity for him to show where he's at again."... "When you don't, you saw what he's capable of".

"I already had fuel". You have to control your emotions out there.

Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue battled lineup switches and substitutions the entire night, but he did stick to his plan of playing ten players in the rotation during meaningful minutes. Lue expects Hill to be good for Wednesday. IN can defend home court and win the series now. Improved to 22-22 in the opening game of a series, including 9-16 on the road. The chief culprits in watching that deficit grow were the Cavaliers' miserable shooting during the quarter, connecting on just 5-of-20 (25 percent) from the field, while also committing six turnovers. James dropped to 48-8 in first-round games.

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