Pacers stun LeBron's Cavs in NBA Playoffs
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 17, 2018,
Apr 17, 2018, 3:28
VICTOR Oladipo scored 32 points and the Indiana Pacers held off Cleveland's second-half rally for a stunning 98-80 victory Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series, handing LeBron James and the Cavaliers' their first loss in the opening round in eight years.
The Pacers set the tone early on in the game, ending the first quarter with a 33-14 lead. "They didn't think we would get this far and they didn't think we was going to win that many games".
"He's been a guy who has created a lot of things for us on both ends of the floor".
Coach Nate McMillian won't get much love for coach of the year, but he has quietly done maybe the best coaching job of his career.
Coach McMillan said someone came to him recently to remind him of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert saying that IN "could have done better" IN their Paul George-Victor Oladipo trade.
"I've always said that experience is the best teacher", James said. Afterward, the Pacers star was asked about being seemingly slighted by Gilbert back in July, and while he downplayed the pertinent remark to some degree, he noted that was "aware of it". Oladipo averaged a career-high 23.1 points during the regular season.
I can already see it now. "But if you look at our team, I guess you could say we don't have that one player or the type of players that stand out, and that's why they underestimate us".
This series was expected by just about everyone to be a Cavs win.
But despite their insistence that it was just another game, it's worth pausing on what IN was able to accomplish with its wire-to-wire victory over Cleveland.
Yes, this Cleveland team is inconsistent, which is why it's a fourth seed. While the Cavaliers will undoubtedly play better in Game 2, the fact remains that the Pacers have had their number this season. For the game, they hit 30-of-78 (38.5 percent) from the field, but managed just 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc, with those game-long struggles making any sustained comeback effort futile. He's doing even more now. It just hasn't been magnified.
"They came in and they attacked us and they were aggressive".
Paul George and Russell Westbrook led the Thunder to a 116-108 game-one win over the Jazz. The total will improve from Game 1 but it still falls a little short of the number as there's a big jump to be made here.
"I have no idea, and I really don't care", Oladipo said, pausing after "idea" for effect.
LeBron James lost a first round playoff game for the first time since 2012. "Right now, I'm focused on Game 2". The Celtics vs Bucks game 2 is scheduled for April 17 at 8:00pm ET.
"We're fully aware of LeBron and fully aware of his team", Oladipo said. "We just have to stay under control, don't let this get to our head and take the next game as our first game". We're planning on winning.