Indiana Pacers bench comprised of the starters stand to watch the closing seconds of the game. Mandatory Credit Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
17 April, 2018, 02:22
The Cavaliers fell hard against the Indiana Pacers in Cleveland on Sunday. Victor Oladipo led IN with 32 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals IN the win. 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.
James posted 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in the loss. IN was edged 44-42 on the boards and clanked 10 of their 25 three point attempts in the contest.
The Indiana Pacers were in great form as they had won eight of their last 11 regular season games before pulling off the upset in a 98-80 win over the Cavaliers in Game 1 on Sunday.
"You could say it added fuel to the fire, I guess you could say", Oladipo said after Game 1.
Although there was an emotional lift for the Cavaliers from George Hill's thunderous one-handed dunk on the fast break in the game's early moments, the Pacers quickly stemmed the tide and turned that negative into a positive. Just when it looked like LeBron and the Pacers were ready to play out an old familiar script, IN stepped on the gas and turned things into a blowout.
"We've been playing like this all year", he said.
Rockets centre Clint Capela had 24 points and 12 rebounds while Andre Wiggins led five Timberwolves players in double figure with 18 points. "They just played inspired basketball", LeBron James said."They were more physical", Rodney Hood said."They were just more aggressive than us", Larry Nance Jr. said.Get the picture yet?
With 1:06 remaining in the third quarter the Cavaliers came closest to obtaining the lead for the first time of the contest, cutting the Pacers lead to seven points.
Myles Turner helped spark Indiana's elite defensive effort by scoring 16 points with eight rebounds and a block. "We'll make some adjustments and be a lot better".
Wednesday night's game two at Quicken Loans Arena has now turned into their biggest game of the season. "We just find a way".
The rout snapped James' 21-game win streak in the first round dating back to May 2012 when the New York Knicks beat his Miami Heat in the Game 4. "They hit us first and we didn't recover". "Obviously, you expect to win every game you approach out there on the floor, especially here at home, but we'll go back to the drawing board and be ready for Game 2".
"We were pleased with a lot of the looks we were getting, we just can't shoot as tight", Hood said. "He's a tough player and you've got to play your best when you play against him".
The "Lance vs. LeBron" storyline is an old favorite for both the local and national media.
Khris Middleton added 31 points, hitting five-of-seven three-pointers, with eight rebounds and six assists in a losing cause.
The worst example of the ineptitude was power forward Jeff Green, who went 0-for-7 from the floor - including 0-for-3 from behind the 3-point arc - for zero points and a starting lineup-worst minus-15 rating in almost 27 minutes played.