Cleveland's defense held IN to just 65 points after the first quarter and to a manageable 45.6 percent shooting for the game, but the Pacers' All-Star guard, Victor Oladipo, went off for 32 points on 11-for-19 shooting.
The loss, though, was just the Cavs' sixth in 42 postseason games against the East since James returned to the Wine and Gold.
The Pacers were not only unfazed by the home crowd and the prospect of playing against the Eastern Conference defending champions, they also made a statement out of it. Game 2 tips off Wednesday night in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers had their lowest-scoring first period of the season and only five baskets with six turnovers in the opening quarter, drawing boos from the Quicken Loans Arena crowd as they walked off at half-time trailing 38-59. They pick us up full court, they deny us swing passes, denied elbow passes.
It will be up to him to get the offense going early, be a leader on the defensive side to frustrate the Pacers to set the tone, and help the Cavaliers grab momentum of the game and series.
Cleveland had won 14 straight first-round games, last losing on April 22, 2010, the last season of James' first stint with the Cavs. We can't just take Game 1 and say we don't have to [make] any improvements. "How much different a regular-season game is compared to a postseason game".
Oladipo though isn't concerned with what people are going to say now after hearing the critics and doubters all summer and before the season. Eh, you can't simulate that.
"A lot of guys are coming out here playing with something to prove", said Myles Turner, "but we play within ourselves, within our system, have we've just been trusting what's going on".
"The mood is good", Lue said.
IN coach Nate McMillan said that Gilbert's comments weren't used to motivate the team, pointing out that the team was already ready to roll.
"That's just how the game was being played", James said after totaling 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in 44 minutes. "He's a very coachable kid", McMillan said.
"As long as my teammates have my back, I'll control what I can control", he said.
"We couldn't score the ball and obviously in this league, you've got to be able to score the ball". I'm tempted to go with the Cavaliers to bounce back with an emphatic win, but I think this one will be close till the end so I'm taking the Pacers with the points again. If we miss, we miss, but I think we were tight with all our shots, and we've got to hit some free throws as well.
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