LeBron James Still Confident After Cavaliers' Shock Loss To Pacers

Jo Caldwell
April 16, 2018

JR Smith was great off the bench with 15 points and Larry Nance Jr., in his first playoff game, added 10 rebounds and five assists.

Quite the sight Sunday watching the fans stream out of Quicken Loans Arena in the fourth quarter of Cleveland's Game 1 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

The Cavaliers fell hard against the Indiana Pacers in Cleveland on Sunday. That was 21 consecutive first-round playoff wins for James and that streak was broken today. "Right now, I'm focused on Game 2". They have LeBron, after all, and they were on national television 39 times. Among that group was Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who said the Pacers could have done better. Lance Stephenson had 12 points for Indiana.

Antetokounmpo made one of two foul shots with 14.8 seconds left, but he fouled out of the game while going for the rebound on his miss. His playmaking opened up the floor for the Pacers to shoot 45.3 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from deep.

Cleveland's George Hill got blind-sided on a pick by Pacers reserve Trevor Booker in the first half, then his back stiffened up. Victor Oladipo led IN with 32 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals IN the win.

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The Pacers stymied a couple Cleveland players with their defensive matchups (notably sticking big man Myles Turner on Jeff Green), exploited the playoff inexperience of some of the Cavs' newcomers and created points by creating turnovers (12 steals).

However, for LeBron James, he is in an unfamiliar spot. The Pacers traded their All-Star, Paul George, for Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis last summer.

But while he knows the narrative before Wednesday's Game 2 will be on the struggles of Cleveland's playoff newcomers, James isn't anxious. If Cleveland can't get their shooting in order, they could be in some trouble. That allowed Cleveland to forge a 25-7 run to make it 70-63 with 1:06 left in the period and when the quarter ended, in had led by a 73-65 score.

"I've always stayed even-keeled with the postseason", James said, after registering his 20th career triple-double in the playoffs with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Kevin Love only shot 2 shots inside the arc, which is completely unacceptable for a big man. LeBron will also get on his starters because no one in the starting lineup besides LeBron scored more than 10 points.

Cleveland was fortunate to even have a chance to try and make a run to get the game to single digits in the fourth quarter.

Severe weather expected today
Severe weather will soon be moving into the area, and today's dramatic change in conditions is preparing the way. Through the afternoon , some isolated thunderstorms may develop around the Quad Cities area, likely non-severe.

Oladipo finished with six made 3-pointers and stole the ball from James twice.

It was all Pacers early on as IN started the game on a blazing 20-6 run, IN due part to the wine and gold not being able to find any rhythm offensively, and struggled to hit shots.

The Pacers were far the better team in every phase in Game 1.

The Pacers were on national television once during the regular season compared to 39 for the Cavs.

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