Pacers deal LeBron 1st-ever loss in playoff opener

Ruben Hill
April 17, 2018

The Cleveland Cavaliers struggled through plenty of issues on the offensive end of the floor in the first quarter of Sunday's 98-80 loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena, but creating open shots was not among them. Jaylen Brown finished with 20 points, and rookie Jayson Tatum added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Pacers jumped ahead 33-14 after the first quarter and led by as much as 23 in holding off the Cavs, who came no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Meeting with reporters after the emphatic victory, Oladipo in a quiet, measured voice said he wasn't surprised at how the game unfolded.

"I've always stayed even-keeled with the postseason", James said after the game, as per ESPN. "We did a great job of that". But perhaps some comments from Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert has given him some extra motivation in this series. Jeff Green, whose career scoring average of 11 points per game in the playoffs coming into Sunday was already underperforming compared to his career regular-season scoring average of 13.2 points, scored zero points on 0-for-7 shooting.

Indeed, James and the Cavs crawled back from a 3-1 deficit against a record-setting Golden State Warriors team in the 2016 NBA Finals to capture the first championship in franchise history. "You could say it added fuel to the fire".

This series was expected by just about everyone to be a Cavs win. I can't control his opinion. Led by Victor Oladipo, Indiana is tough and on a mission. But I haven't used that type of information as bulletin board material. 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.

Celtics 113, Bucks 107, OTBOSTON - Al Horford had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Boston overcame Khris Middleton's long 3 that beat the fourth-quarter buzzer to top Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series. The media might have a field day with this and try to act like the Pacers will win, but they don't realize that one team has LeBron and the other one doesn't. Kevin Love chipped in nine points, 17 rebounds, and two assists but it wasn't enough to help them get the W. The Cavs trailed all throughout the game, with the Pacers leading by 23 points at one point. The Cavs managed just 30 field goals and 38.5 percent from the field. First of all, they will make sure to get to the rack more. "We'll make some adjustments and be a lot better". Everybody sees us. It's kind of shocking to everybody.

"At the end of the day, they came in and they dictated the tempo".

The NBA playoffs rarely get upsets in the first round, but the Pacers downing the three-time defending East champions would certainly raise some eyebrows.

Several players on the roster also had limited or no postseason experience, making Game 1 expectations hard to quantify.

"I have no idea, and I really don't care", Oladipo said, pausing after "idea" for effect. "It's only one game, it's only Game 1". "Right now, I'm focused on Game 2".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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