Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Boston.
LeBron carded a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, but he was curiously timid off the gates.
Right from the jump, the Indiana Pacers took the lead and never relinquished it for the remainder of the game. He downplayed the debacle and told The Cleveland Plain Dealer, "I've been down 3-1 in the Finals before". "I'm the last person to ask about how it's going to feel the next couple of days". After helping the Pacers beat the Cavs in Game 1 on Sunday, Oladipo acknowledged that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's thoughts on the trade had fueled him.
George set an Oklahoma City playoff record with eight 3-pointers, blowing past the previous record of five.
The Pacers' win snapped James' streak of 21 straight first-round playoff victories. "Guys had great looks and they just didn't go down".
Stephenson, the Pacers' instigator, spark and arch-enemy to James, set the tone for Indiana's impressive win in Game 1 with a thunderous first-quarter dunk he celebrated by bashing his head into the padded basket stanchion.
Regardless, the Pacers are going to need to continue to embrace a "grit and grind" mentality where they are pressuring ball handlers and being physical to throw off Cleveland's offense.
Game 2 of the series takes place on Thursday morning, midnight United Kingdom time. IN came in 15-6 in the playoffs when it wins the opener. Cleveland was ranked 26th in points given up during the regular season giving up an average of 109.9 per game which simply will not cut it. We can't just take Game 1 and say we don't have to (make) any improvements. During the regular season, IN was just 3-11 when being held to 95 points or less. It happens that fast.
"You always hear people say in the regular season, sometimes it's a "play-off-type atmosphere". "Eh, you can't simulate that". You can't simulate what's going on out there. Maybe it shows them some obvious adjustments to make moving forward. Even if they did, they need to be ready to defend a guy like Myles Turner who can hit shots for the Pacers. "All I'm focused on is myself and becoming the best Victor Oladipo possible". "So we take it as everybody has to dig deep and not lose two of them on our home floor".
Every now and then, they get the reaction Stephenson wants, like when he drew a technical foul on James in Indiana's 97-95 win over the Cavs on January 12.
Indiana's leading scorer, Victor Oladipo, led the way again for the Pacers with 32 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.
"Listen, it's fun", James said of Stephenson. I definitely don't, as well. "So it's going to be a good series".
"He did some good things", McMillan said. We know what LeBron is capable of doing. You can't be drunk on emotions. "I think it's important that we get off to a good start, as we did last night, and not allow them to run us out of the building early". We made a substitution, and we was able to get it back. They ultimately got the job done as they took a 98-80 win. "They're going to pressure us". "It's the playoffs. You expect to be pushed".