Sports

Oladipo leads Pacers past Cavs in Game 1, 98-80

Oladipo leads Pacers past Cavs in Game 1, 98-80

But if IN is to break LeBron James's streak, they need to ride advantages like this. Will be updated. With AP Photos.

LeBron James' run at an incredible eighth-straight National Basketball Association finals appearance begins with his Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs.

Traditionally a second half team, IN got off to a fast start, leading by 19 at the end of the first quarter.

James finished with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Cavaliers as a whole struggled with their shooting touch throughout the game, especially when it came to 3-pointers. League leader in total points and clutch scoring. I think that's pretty cool, and it's unusual at the same time.

The Pacers completely outplayed the three-time defending conference champions, whose turbulent regular season has carried over into the playoffs.

Game 2 will also be in Cleveland, with that Wednesday night contest set to tip off just after 7 p.m. Victor Oladipo is averaging 23.1 points and 4.3 assists while Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 14.3 points and 3.4 rebounds.

They aim to start three different players next to James and Love (George Hill and Jeff Green for sure, maybe Rodney Hood - if so then none were even on the team last year). Going back to the 2012 playoffs, IN is 7-16 against LeBron James, with one series going to seven games and anothe being a sweep. It breaks a streak of 21 straight first round playoff wins for LeBron James, dating back to 2012 when he was with Miami.

Last year, the Cavs swept the Pacers in a series where in could have easily won games one and three. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence.

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For the first time in four years, James won't have Kyrie Irving by his side in the playoffs.

Cavs over Pacers 4-0. While the season was (once again) a roller coaster, the Cavaliers went 10-3 down the stretch (punting on the final loss) when they were beginning to get comfortable playing together.

The Cavs lost the opening playoff game 98-80 in Cleveland though they can still progress in the best of seven series. With that in mind, James has made one final social media post on Instagram on Saturday where he quoted Martin Luther King Jr.

The Pacers drove him into a darker place. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was among the doubters, saying the Pacers "could have done better" than getting Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in exchange for Paul George. All the players are important but Oladipo's health will be key.

"The defense was okay, but offensively, we didn't make shots and we didn't take shots", Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said after the game. "He's a very coachable kid", McMillan said. The team's best shot at success will ultimately be throwing as many bodies as possible at James and hoping it wears him down.

IN dominated the regular season 3-1, although the two teams never met after January 26. IN came in 15-6 in the playoffs when it wins the opener. Here's the latest game preview with odds to win, start time, channel, and how to watch the Pacers vs. Cavs game live streaming online.

Lue hasn't quite said it in so many words, but he believes the Cavs are going back to the Finals anyway. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) tops the list.

Cleveland went just 8 of 34 on 3-pointers and missed eight of 20 free throws. Of the Pacers top 10 contributors in minutes per game, only Cory Joseph and Lance Stephenson have played all 82 games.


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