James and the Cavaliers simply can't afford to brush off the Pacers, who maintained their composure down the stretch and outshot Cleveland from beyond the arc. It was one game. Instead, Cleveland's secondary source of points came from J.R. Smith's 15 off the bench.
BC-BKN-Pacers-Cavaliers, 1st Ld-Writethru, 905Victor-y: Oladipo scores 32 as Pacers stun LeBron, CavsAP Photo OHTD102, OHTD106, OHTD117, OHTD101, OHTD109, OHTD107, OHTD108, OHTD116, OHTD115, OHTD114, OHTD118, OHTD117Eds: Updates with new lead, quotes.
The likes of Jordan Clarkson (2-for-6 in shooting), Rodney Hood (3-for-7), Jose Calderon (0-3), and Jeff Green (0-7) were all off with their shots but the three-time National Basketball Association champion believes they will perform better as they continue to gain playoff experience. If Cleveland can't get their shooting in order, they could be in some trouble. Although overreacting to a series-opening loss would be silly for Cleveland, failing to react is hardly a viable option. The chief culprits in watching that deficit grow were the Cavaliers' miserable shooting during the quarter, connecting on just 5-of-20 (25 percent) from the field, while also committing six turnovers. IN quickly went on a 12-2 run to restore a 17 point lead and that was that.
For the Cavs, LeBron James had a triple-double, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Not scared of Kevin Love, who grabbed 17 rebounds but didn't score in double figures.
The second quarter saw Cleveland make multiple runs at getting the margin into single-digit territory.
"They were more aggressive", James said. Oladipo was 11-of-19 from the field with six 3s, setting a career high for playoff points.
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Pacers: Only have two starters _ Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young - from the team Cleveland swept past year.
Oladipo was the best player on the floor for the Pacers and had an answer for every little rally the Pacers made.
And while the story of the day was the Pacers' impressive 98-80 win over a substandard Cavs team; it was the LeBron-Lance subplot that had NBA Twitter talking.
But if you think James is going to start sweating it out following the Pacers' series-opening win, think again. Jeff Green, starting in Thompson's place missed all seven shot attempts and finished with no points. Overuse wasn't the issue as only James (44), Love (34) and Nance Jr.
We'll see just how far the Pacers can push the Cavs if they go up 2-0 after Wednesday's Game 2.
Thankfully for IN, they had Oladipo and company to mop up the mess.
Game 2 is set for April 18 at Quicken Loans Arena.
It's only round one, but it was a decisive victory for Indiana.