Better protect those chins, Pacers.
Prior to Sunday, James had not lost a first-round game in six years, sweeping the Bucks and Hornets with the Heat in 2013 and 2014, and sweeping the Celtics, Pistons, and Pacers with the Cavaliers in 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were completely outclassed by the Indiana Pacers and lost Game 1 by a 98-80 score. The Pacers outplayed the Cavs from the start on Sunday, improving to 4-1 this season against LeBron James and the defending conference champions.
An early exit from the playoffs bodes well for the Lakers’ pitch to James.
In the final quarter, the Pacers sucked the life out of an already lifeless Cavs team, outscoring Cleveland, 25-15, to edge the series lead at 1-0.
Al Horford had a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and host Boston edged Milwaukee in overtime in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.
“Listen, it’s fun”, James said of Stephenson. “It’s 4-5 for a reason”. “I’m just focused on my team, focused on this series and taking it one game at a time”. Having them hitting shots they normally make would help negate much of the improvements Cleveland could make. “I thought their pressure really bothered us early, picking up full court with their guards”. Look for the Pacers to cover here behind a monster game from Oladipo. It’s when James shines most.
The first three times IN faced Cleveland this season, the Pacers came away with victories – 124-107 on the road plus 106-102 and 97-95 at home. It was his first playoff game with the Thunder since being acquired in a trade with in in the offseason. “He’s the best player in the world”. 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 or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence. “We’ll see what they’re going to do”.
“My responsibility has been the same for quite a while now”, he said.
Not only was Turner able to contain Green on defense, but the third-year forward also posted an impressive night on offense, scoring 16 points and snaring eight rebounds. Green’s minus-15 in his 27 minutes was the worst on the team, as he contributed almost nothing in the humiliating Game 1 loss. “You could tell they were ready to play”, Hood said.
“We believe we can win”, Oladipo said.
Only Larry Nance Jr. There was two on the ball at times.
X-Factor: Thaddeus Young of 7 points and 3 rebounds hides his impact. His shooting was not efficient, however, as he went 7 of 17 from the floor and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. He’s grateful for a fresh start. They were more aggressive. It’s more of LeBron James vs the Pacers. He’s still doing it. This time, though, Stephenson claims he has no plans to rankle King James. “I think your mindset has to be to stop him and to want to win against him”.