David Liam Kyle/Getty Images
LeBron James, who won 21 straight games in the first round of the NBA playoffs leading into this series, had a triple-double for the Cavaliers thanks to 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. It is the first time he has experienced a loss since 2012, per Marc Stein of The New York Times:
The Pacers set the tone for the entire game with a dominant first half, which included a 33-14 Pacers lead after one quarter. Oladipo led the Pacers’ charge, posting 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals before halftime. The front-runner for Most Improved Player also hit four of five three-pointers, including this shot that put the Pacers up 50-34:
Victor Oladipo steps into his 4th three of the 1st half! #Pacers #NBAonABC https://t.co/1R9KbltiG1
Oladipo received help from his supporting cast, as Myles Turner (12 points), Bojan Bogdonavic (10 points) and Lance Stephenson (nine points) helped the team to a 55-38 halftime lead. The Pacers shot 47.6 percent from the field and made half of their 14 first-half threes.
On the other side, it was a one-man show as James had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds. He showcased his excellent ball-handling skills with this nifty move through the paint to bring the Cavs within 40-25 early in the second quarter:
LeBron handles, side steps, and converts through contact! #WhateverItTakes #NBAonABC https://t.co/HoTVM45r5Q
No other Cavalier scored more than six points in the first half, and the team minus James shot just 10-of-31 from the field. Kevin Love led the team on the glass with eight rebounds.
The Pacers picked up where they left off in the third quarter as they took a 63-41 lead following a Thaddeus Young layup. Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports credited the Pacers’ energy:
Scott Agness @ScottAgness
Activity level is high for the Pacers. And they are doing an excellent job of getting everything at the rim.
However, the Cavaliers stormed back and ended the quarter on a 24-10 run. The key bucket was a Kevin Love 30-foot three-pointer to cut the deficit to 70-63:
Love was fouled on the play and missed the ensuing free throw, but the Cavs trailed by just eight heading into the fourth.
Once there, however, Oladipo continued his fantastic performance, scoring 10 points en route to helping the Pacers end the game on a 22-11 run.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer summed up Oladipo’s afternoon:
Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
Victor Oladipo played an unbelievable game. Elite scoring from all levels of the floor, made the right passes in pick-and-roll, and played his typical intense defense. The Pacers are tough.
For the Pacers, Turner finished with 16 points, while Bogdanovic and Stephenson added 15 and 12, respectively. Oladipo, Bogdanovic, Darren Collison and Cory Joseph also combined for 12 steals.
Love led the Cavs on the boards with 17. J.R. Smith scored 15 points off the bench.
Cleveland will host Indiana for Game 2 of their best-of-seven series on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.
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