CLEVELAND (AP) — Victor Oladipo scored 32 factors and the Indiana Pacers held off Cleveland’s second-half rally for a shocking ninety eight-eighty victory Sunday in Recreation 1 of the Japanese Convention collection, handing LeBron James and the Cavaliers’ their first loss within the opening spherical in eight years.
Indiana was in management from the outset, opening a 21-level lead within the first quarter and main by 23 within the third. The Cavs stormed again and obtained inside seven, however Oladipo hit an enormous three-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a three to make it 88-seventy one.
The Pacers utterly outplayed the three-time defending convention champions, whose turbulent common season has carried over into the playoffs.
Recreation 2 is Wednesday night time.
James scored 24 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his twentieth profession triple-double. However James obtained little assist as Cleveland’s 4 different starters — Kevin Love, Jeff Green, Rodney Hood and George Hill — mixed for 25 factors.
That is all new to James, who had gained 21 consecutive first-spherical video games and misplaced a postseason for the primary time in his thirteenth playoffs. The 33-yr-previous is making an attempt to get to his eighth straight Finals, and already the trail is harder than imagined.
Cleveland had gained 14 straight first-spherical video games, final dropping on April 22, 2010, the final season of James’ first stint with the Cavs.
Indiana was swept by Cleveland in final yr’s opening spherical. These Pacers, although, didn’t have Oladipo or the stability of this Indy squad, which can lack expertise however not confidence.
Lance Stephenson, a longtime playoff nemesis for James, helped set the tone within the first quarter with a dunk he punctuated by throwing a number of punches into the padded basket stanchion.
The Pacers took the battle to the Cavs. They have been extra bodily, extra energetic and extra composed.
Oladipo has grow to be one of many NBA’s rising stars, and after being a task participant in Oklahoma Metropolis, he’s Indiana’s foremost attraction and appeared like a seasoned star on the playoff stage. He made six three-pointers, swiped the ball from James on two events and greater than doubled his earlier playoff scored excessive of 15.
The Cavs fell behind 33-12 throughout a wierd first quarter that included Cleveland lacking all eight three-pointers, James not trying his first area aim till 1:fifty two remained and followers in Quicken Loans Area questioning what they have been seeing.
As he does for each postseason, James shuts down all social media actions, a routine he calls Zero Darkish 23 Mode. And this time, he started it Saturday by posting a quote on Instagram from Martin Luther King Jr: “Darkness can’t drive out darkness, solely mild can do this.”
The Pacers drove him right into a darker place.
Pacers: Solely have two starters —- Myles Turner and Thaddeus Younger — from the group Cleveland swept final yr. … Oladipo wasn’t seen as a franchise-altering participant when Indiana acquired him together with Domantas Sabonis within the commerce for Paul George. Nevertheless, coach Nate McMillan stated the guard needed to show himself and did with onerous work. “He’s a really coachable child,” McMillan stated. “We’ve had many movie periods and one-on-one periods to attempt to enhance and he’s proven that. This can be a totally different season, a superb alternative for him to point out the place he’s at once more.”… Indiana got here in 15-6 within the playoffs when it wins the opener. The Pacers are four-18 wheb dropping Recreation 1.
Cavaliers: James surpassed Michael Jordan (2,188) for the second-most made subject objectives in playoff historical past. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) tops the record. … James dropped to forty eight-eight in first-spherical video games. … Coach Tyronne Lue began Hood over Kyle Korver, who has lingering soreness in his proper foot and was on a minutes’ restriction. Korver performed simply 4 minutes. … Inexperienced was zero-for-7 from the sector, zero-for-three from the road and the Cavs have been outscored by 15 when he was on the ground.
Recreation 2 is Wednesday night time.
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