The Indiana Pacers took game 1 from LeBron James and the Cavaliers 98-80 in a Sunday Primetime game with the world watching. The Pacers made a statement from the tip showing everyone that the 3-1 season series they took from the Cavs was no aberration and they will be no easy out, even for the three time Eastern Conference champs. They jumped on LeBron’s Cavs 33-14 after the first and never looked back and never trailed in the game.
Pacers first year All-Star Victor Oladipo looked like the best player on the court the entire game scoring a game high 32 points and grabbing 6 rebounds to go along with 4 assist. He seemed to get anywhere on the floor and got the Cavs to switch their big men onto him during pick & roll situations which led to good looks for himself or teammates. Center Miles Turner contributed 16 points and 8 rebounds. Forward Bojan Bogdanovic who led the Pacers in minutes(39) chipped in with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
The Cavaliers who many picked to represent the Eastern Conference for the fourth straight year in the Finals, did not look or play like a team destined for another Finals berth. They were thoroughly outplayed by the Pacers and seemed to be looking around for answers.
LeBron James showed up and did what he was expected to do adding another playoff triple-double (20) to his resume scoring 24 points, dishing out 12 assist, and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Pacers made it tough for James all night with 10 of his 24 points coming at the free throw line. No other player besides reserve guard Jordan Clarkson made a free throw (2-2).
There was also not much help for James from his fellow starters as no one else scored in double figures and Jeff Green did not score in the game. Former starter for the Cavs now coming off the bench JR Smith contributed with 15 points and Kevin Love who did not have a great scoring output did pull down 17 rebounds to go along with his 9 points. The Cavs with the best player in the world should come out with more fight that they did in Game 1.
What To Watch For In Game 2: Will LeBron be able to rely on anyone to make plays/shots?
Game 2: Wednesday 4/18 4:00 PT
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