Published: Wed, April 18, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

National Basketball Association roundup: Victor Oladipo scores 32 as Pacers stun LeBron, Cavs

National Basketball Association roundup: Victor Oladipo scores 32 as Pacers stun LeBron, Cavs

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio - If the Cleveland Cavaliers weren't ready coming into the playoffs, an embarrassing 98-80 Game 1 loss to the Indiana Pacers certainly shook Kevin Love up enough to know that the first round will be no cakewalk.

And, prior to Sunday, the only time the Cavs lost a Game 1 against an Eastern Conference foe was 2015, when the Bulls beat the Cavs 99-92 in the opener of the East semifinals at The Q.

In the first quarter, the Cavaliers made only five of their 20 attempts from the field, and that included an 0-for-8 showing from three-point range, while the Pacers made 12 baskets, including three triples from Oladipo, on the way to a 33-14 lead after the first quarter.

James had a triple-double against the Pacers in a 98-80 game-one home loss Monday (AEST), but the 33-year-old went 10 minutes at the start of the game before taking his first shot and by then in led 25-8.

It also was the first playoff-opening loss for James, who came in 12-0 in Game 1s and didn't realize he had been ideal starting the postseason. "So, it's like, it's kind of shocking to everybody", Oladipo, the outstanding player of the night, said as he explained how the team has been playing great all year even as the media and league fans have their attention elsewhere. I just know those guys have been through everything with us the last four years and we won a championship, went to three Finals.

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If there was ever a way to begin the postseason in a manner that was certain to put your already anxious fans into near-meltdown mode, Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena was just that.

Obviously, the Cavs can't let that happen again in Game 2, and on Monday head coach Ty Lue said the key to making sure it doesn't happen is LeBron James' aggressiveness. "I know I gotta fill big shoes".

"We had some good looks that we wanted and that just didn't fall".

They don't have any household names or any superstars on their roster, just one All-Star and a role player best known for foolish on-court antics. During the regular season, IN was just 3-11 when being held to 95 points or less.

Cleveland host IN again IN game two on Wednesday.

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"They were more aggressive", James said. We take each and every step together. So it's the playoffs now, we've been doing this all year.

Though LeBron remains confident in his ability to make a comeback, the same can not be said for his teammates, several of whom are making their playoff debuts. Chris Paul added two free throws after that for Houston, but a tip-in by Karl-Anthony Towns got Minnesota back within 3.

The top-seeded Rockets had their hands full with the No. 8 Timberwolves on a night where Houston made just 10 of 37 3-pointers.

Minnesota scored four straight points to get within 3 with about 30 seconds left.

These games don't matter, right? This contributed to them scoring 38 points in the paint on 18 fastbreak points.

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