The Indiana Pacers stunningly put a hurting on the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of their first-round series. He shot 11 of 19 from the field and 6 of 9 from 3-point land as IN outscored Cleveland by 21 points IN his 37 minutes of action. The ugly defeat ended a streak of 21 straight first-round wins for James.
Bulls fans will recognize this, an ugly Game 1 performance from James and his team.
The Pacers are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Cleveland. It was the first time in Pacer history where they won a playoff game in which an opponent registered a triple double. This seems like a game that will go down to the wire and the Cavs haven't exactly shown the ability to blow out good teams very often this season. The Pacers will have to fix this mistake, because these games will be much closer going forward.
One thing the Cavaliers don't want to see is an animated Lance Stephenson.
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Al Horford scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Boston and Terry Rozier, starting in place of injured Kyrie Irving, added 23 points. He also received a technical foul after hitting Lebron James in the head after a layup. The urgency of facing an 0-2 hole and going to IN is too great a risk at the expense of being a good teammate.
Lue was never asked about Hill's status but did say that he went through a full session with the Cavaliers. As long as he continues to play great defense like he did in Game One, without going over the edge, the Pacers will be in good hands.
Victor Oladipo, who came over to IN with little national fanfare during the Paul George trade last summer, has been outstanding all season for the Pacers. Darren Collison-who lead the league in three point percentage (46 percent) during the regular season-and Bojan Bogdanovic, however, both shot poorly from three.
In fact, he was just as unstoppable in the final period, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-3 from long-range to snuff out any Cavaliers' rally attempts. The Pacers will need these two to step up their game this series, because Oladipo won't be able to carry the load by himself. Although it wasn't good enough to beat the Cavs for the No. 4 spot in the conference, it was more than good enough to get the franchise into the postseason. "There are some things we can improve on". The Pacers just looked like the all-around better team in Game 1.
But James attempted just three shots, missing all three, in what proved to be a decisive first quarter and missed three free throws as the Cavs tried coming back in the second - dropping Game 1 of a First Round series for the first time in his career. "We can do better". LeBron James needs to be more aggressive as well.