The loss snapped a 21-game win streak in the first round by James' teams, dating to May 9, 2012, when the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat in Game 4 of their series. Cleveland's struggles covered all facets of the shooting department as they were only eight of 34 from beyond the arc and 12 of 20 from the charity stripe in the game. The Pacers easily could have won the game by a bigger margin had they cashed in at the charity stripe and capitalized more on Cleveland's miscues.
And the Pacers just flat worked the Cavs in their own building, taking a 33-14 lead after the first quarter.
Game two in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday (NZT) in Boston.
"We were pleased with all of the looks we were getting", shooting guard Rodney Hood said. "I think tonight we were just tight with all our shots".
"We've been down a lot, a lot of injuries, and we've always found a way", Horford said. "We can be better".
The Pacers won three of their four games against the Cavs this season and after stealing home court, anything is possible.
That talking point is right in line with the message Pacers head coach Nate McMillan has been preaching to his team since training camp.
"He did some good things", McMillan said.
"We know J.R. can make these shots".
LeBron James had a performance to remember on a night to forget when the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. 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. That trend is unlikely to continue throughout the series, as the Cavaliers posted a.372 3-point percentage during the regular season, the sixth-best mark in the National Basketball Association. "They came in and they were aggressive in Game 1".
James scored 24 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 20th career triple-double. We made a substitution, and we was able to get it back. "We continued to stay focused, and we understood they're gonna make runs". And not just them.
"If we bring that this whole series, we'll be excellent". These are some of the fixes that could benefit the Cavaliers moving forward in the series. "I think everybody is going to be a lot more calm and a lot more precise in what we want to do, too. We just find a way".
"We got the first one out the way. And they're going to hit the open man".
It's a fairly safe bet that Game 2 won't be as ugly offensively as the opener was for Cleveland. So it's the playoffs now, we've been doing this all year. If we miss, we miss, but I think we were tight with all our shots, and we've got to hit some free throws as well. But they're not shying away from the challenge.
Furthermore, according to BasketballReference.com, LeBron has never lost a Game 1 in the first round. "But a team like this can respond and they're going to respond". We couldn't score the ball, and obviously in this league, you gotta score the ball.
An early exit from the playoffs bodes well for the Lakers' pitch to James. The real reason that I am confident in the Cavs is because at the end of the day one team has LeBron and the other one does not. Born Ready just loves playing against LeBron James. "Been playing hard on both ends all year".
Stephenson shrugged off the technical - "I don't care".
"We were definitely mad", Stephenson said.
"Is it?" James said. "Don't back down from nobody".
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