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NBA Playoffs recap: Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 1 Betting Odds

16 April 2018

IN guard Victor Oladipo scored 32 points, hitting 6 of 9 attempts from 3-point range, to power the Pacers to a 98-80 victory over the host Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday in Game 1 of an opening-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

The fourth-seeded Cavs were thought to have a switch, because James always does, but it didn't look like that during Game 1, as they were humiliated right from the start, as No. 5 IN took a 30-10 lead with about a minute left IN the first quarter.

The mantra of the past several years of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball has been some semblance of "wait til the playoffs".

James owns a career 12-0 record in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, but perhaps more than ever, that streak is in jeopardy against a hungry Pacers team that has often been victimized by James in the past. Cleveland is trying to become only the fifth team to play in four straight NBA Finals (yes, the Celtics of the 1960's and '80's made this list) in league history.

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The Pacers are feeling confident after beating the Cavs for fourth time this season. They beat the Cavs three times during the regular season and guard Victor Oladipo and Co. have enough talent to maybe upset the No. 4 seed.

Game 2 of the Cavaliers-Pacers series isn't until April 18. James (27.5 points, 9.1 assists, 8.6 rebounds) and Love (17.6 points, 9.3 rebounds) have been the two most consistent options for Cleveland, and it falls on them to lead the team through an Eastern Conference that'll give them issues. 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.

The East playoff bracket even sets Cleveland up to potentially face the exact same path to the finals that they took last season.

I cannot say that history won't repeat itself, but the Pacers won't go out quietly, that I can assure you. The Indiana Pacers have split their last eight road games.

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But they are pursuing a 13th European Cup, which would make them the first team to win the trophy three years in a row since Bayern Munich between 1974 and 1976.

The Pacers won the season series, but it's hard to know how much to read into that with all the changes that the Cavaliers went through. Betting against LeBron James is a losing proposition. It's not surprising, since they have what many consider to the best player on the planet.

James-led teams had won 21 consecutive first-round games with the Miami Heat and Cavaliers. And this time, he began it Saturday by posting a quote on Instagram from Martin Luther King Jr: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that". The Indiana Pacers, who earned a win in three of the four regular-season matchups, will challenge the Cavs in the opening round beginning April 15.

"Kevin's just being Kevin", coach Tyronn Lue said Friday after practice. They finished the season 48-34 - six games better than a year ago.

Sabonis started three games against Cleveland this season and registered double-doubles in each of them.

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President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he hoped common sense would prevail and that the situation would stabilise. The White House said it was continuing to assess intelligence and talk to its allies on how to respond .

NBA Playoffs recap: Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 1 Betting Odds