Running thoughts: R1G5 - Cavaliers 98, Pacers 95

The 2017-18 NBA Playoffs have some of the closest matchups we've seen in years, now fans just have to wait for all the games to unfold.

He lived at the rim all night long, bulldozing his way to the paint time and again en route to 44 points on 14-for-24 shooting from the field and a flawless 15-for-15 mark at the foul line to go with 10 rebounds, eight assists, a block and a steal in 42 minutes of work.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 44 points with 10 rebounds and 8 assists in Wednesday's 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

The Bad: Victor Oladipo. Smith's shot wasn't dropping, but he clapped and had reason to after that. He's only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. They lost to their competition in Game 1 of the playoffs and have now won 2 of the 4 games in the series. The Pacers carried a 7 point lead into halftime, but were absolutely crushed to the tune of 32-17 in a decisive 3rd quarter.

The Cavaliers rank third in blocks allowed per game (4.1) while the Pacers rank 24th (5.2). I'll take the better team and lay the bucket. "I thought he did a good job being physical on Oladipo and denying him the basketball". For a Utah team that has been so rock-solid over the last three games, it was odd to see them completely implode tonight. What's more surprising is that in the playoffs this year, they aren't even a number one seed. The Rockets struggles once again in the first half; Minnesota led by 10 in the second quarter. "Every game is different". Both finished with five fouls, and Oklahoma City was able to get to the basket consistently for the first time in the series. And the Pacers wouldn't quit.

"Bron (James) switched on [Victor] Oladipo".

It was the defensive end of the floor where the Pacers got back into this one.

James pounded his chest.

James' teammates also celebrated with him by dumping cups of water on him while he was being interviewed on TNT.

But that's a topic for another day. They seem to have thrived in such a position all season long, completing many second half comebacks. But it didn't slow him down, as he made all 15 of his free throws, the most makes without a miss in his playoff career. The Cavs have some dude named LeBron, and that's about it, but he's doing everything he can and willing his team to victories as they try to scratch and crawl their way to the second round. Why James would leave the Cavaliers again is the question that many have been asking.

If called, the play would have given the Pacers the lead with seconds left, but it hardly matters in the wake of the, dare we say, Jordan-esque shot, with Thaddeus Young playing the unfortunate role of Craig Ehlo.

  • Julie Sanders