Pacers 98, Cavaliers 80.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) stands beside Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (1) in the fourth quarter in game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
Victor Oladipo scored 32 points as the Indiana Pacers outplayed the Cleveland Cavliers from the start while pulling off a stunning 98-80 victory in their National Basketball Association play-offs eastern conference series opener. Rodney Hood, making his first career playoff start, scored seven points on 3-for-7 shooting, but five of those points came in the fourth quarter with the game already out of hand.
"We did, as far as in the pick-and-roll game", Lue said. The miserable loss made history for LeBron James as well, not all happy history either. Among that group was Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who said the Pacers could have done better. "All I'm focused on is myself", Oladipo said.
When the Cavaliers twice got within seven points and goosed the home crowd - late in the third and early in the fourth - in carefully plugged its leaks and built back its lead. The Cavs got within seven in the fourth, but Oladipo, once a role player who 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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The Pacers are a good team but let's slow down before counting out the Cavs or hitting the panic alarm.
Oladipo said after Game 1 that he used these words as motivation for his huge year. The Pacers won all three overtime games they played this year.
At one point, the Cavs got called for delay of game.
The Pacers completely outplayed the three-time defending conference champions, whose turbulent regular season has carried over into the playoffs. The rest of Cleveland's starters only managed 25 points, Kevin Love with 17 rebounds but only nine points.
"They were more aggressive", James said. The Cavs just started off slow, which is why they lost the game.
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Tonight the Wild need to generate more shots on goal and as simple as that sounds it needs to be their M.O. going forward. It doesn't happen very often. "You can tell they're playing hard". "It makes me smile, I guess". "That's just part of it.
Cleveland went just 8 of 34 on 3-pointers and missed eight of 20 free throws.
Well, it's now going to take a first-round comeback.
This is all new to James, who had won 21 consecutive first-round games and lost a postseason for the first time in his 13th playoffs.
The 33-year-old is trying to get to his eighth straight Finals. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo 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'll make some adjustments and be a lot better". "They still don't believe". X-rays came back negative, but it will be something to monitor going forward. His streak of 21 straight first-round playoff wins has come to an abrupt (and somewhat unexpected) end. If you saw how the Cavs played after the first quarter, they actually played very well. "I'm aware of what he said". You can't control his opinion. There are many. George Hill was limited to 19 minutes after taking a shot to the back during a screen. I also think that coach Tyronn Lue will limit the amount of playing time that Jeff Green gets and increase the minutes of Tristan Thompson. At the end of the day, the Cavs have LeBron and he will make sure that the team makes the needed adjustments in order to win the series. Improved to 22-22 in the opening game of a series, including 9-16 on the road. James dropped to 48-8 in first-round games.
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