Cleveland's bench punished the Pacers for the most part, but it was only enough to tighten up the game in the third quarter.
The Cavaliers were embarrassed, with boos at times filling Quicken Loans Arena, in a startling 98-80 rout at the Pacers' hands Sunday.
The Pacers - who were swept by Cleveland in last year's first round - completely outplayed the three-time defending conference champions, whose turbulent regular season has carried over into the post-season.
They calmly walked off, business as usual. The Pacers jumped all over Cleveland early and withstood the Cavaliers' attempts to rally.
Trailing by those 17 points at intermission, the Cavaliers soon found themselves in even worse shape as they faced a 23-point deficit at 61-38 with 10:28 left in the third quarter. This is also the first time the Cavs have lost Game 1 in the first round since 1998, also against the Pacers. Lastly, the Rockets escaped with a three-point win over the Timberwolves. IN was edged 44-42 on the boards and clanked 10 of their 25 three point attempts in the contest.
LeBron James: "I'm down 0-1 in the first round. We didn't come here just to be OK", said Pacers star Victor Oladipo, who dropped a 32-point water balloon on a subdued and shocked Q crowd. This is something we conditioned ourselves for - we talk about being calm, clear and connected every single night. As a result, the Cavaliers gave away home court advantage in the series, at least for the moment.
And again, by taking Game 1 away from Cleveland on the road, they made winning the series more hard for the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers' high water mark was when they trailed by seven, 76-69, with 10:29 to go in the game. No. 23 scored 12 of Cleveland's 24 points in the second quarter as he tried to keep the wine and gold in the game before the start of the second half. While James had a triple double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists), Victor Oladipo diced Cleveland's defense for a game-high 32 points, making Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert pay for saying last summer that IN "could have done better" IN the Paul George trade.
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The Cavaliers dug themselves a huge hole right off the bat and trailed by as many as 21 in that opening period before finding themselves down 33-14 after the first 12 minutes.
Below you'll find everything you need to know for Day 2 of the National Basketball Association playoffs.
"We've been playing like this all year", Oladipo said, as deadpan after the victory as he was demonstrative during it. "It's just a matter of us going out there and punching back". Jaylen Brown finished with 20 points, and rookie Jayson Tatum added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Overuse wasn't the issue as only James (44), Love (34) and Nance Jr.
George set an Oklahoma City playoff record with eight 3-pointers, blowing past the previous record of five. The Pacers were on national television once, and that was just for Paul George's return to Indianapolis.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Boston.