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Pacers get the jump on Cavaliers — Sunday's National Basketball Association roundup

17 April 2018

Oladipo led the Pacers with 32 points, six rebounds and four assists. 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. James finished with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 20th career playoff triple-double. That was a big change for them: remember, last season in Game 3 of their series with Cleveland, they blew a 26 point lead and lost by five. The Cavs got within seven in the fourth, but Oladipo, once a role player who has blossomed into an All-Star in his first season with in, hit a big 3-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a 3 to make it 88-71.

IN jumped out to a huge lead to begin the game, and eventually pushed their lead as high as 23 points.

Oladipo closed the game with 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting in the fourth quarter, outplaying LeBron James, who had just four points on 1-for-3 shooting in the final frame.

Instead, he has confidence going into game two despite a poor performance on both ends of the floor on Sunday. While the Cavaliers will undoubtedly play better in Game 2, the fact remains that the Pacers have had their number this season.

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Things have been as hard for the Cavaliers this season as they've ever been during LeBron James' tenure with the team.

Sunday marked just the second nationally televised game for the Pacers all season, with the other coming when George made his return to IN with the Thunder.

"We got out hard defensively, showing LeBron some bodies", Oladipo said.

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With 1:06 remaining in the third quarter the Cavaliers came closest to obtaining the lead for the first time of the contest, cutting the Pacers lead to seven points. Just making them do stuff that they're normally not used to doing. Cleveland was down 19 after the opening quarter and despite their best efforts, couldn't throw a serious scare into IN the rest of the way. "You always hear people say in the regular season, sometimes it's a 'playoff-type atmosphere.' Eh, you can't simulate that".

Stephenson, when asked about his contributions to the Pacers' emphatic 98-80 win, described his energy as "contagious". Maybe it shows them some obvious adjustments to make moving forward.

Game two in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday (NZT) in Boston.

Paul George and Russell Westbrook led the Thunder to a 116-108 game-one win over the Jazz. "They (the Pacers) going to push the ball at any and every opportunity they got and we have to be ready for that attack". No other starter broke the double figures mark in scoring though Kevin Love did grab 17 rebounds: J.R. Smith (15 points) and Larry Nance Jr. In the final minute of the first quarter, he caught the ball at the top of the key and drove down the lane, rising up over Cleveland forward Jeff Green for a vicious right-handed dunk that gave IN a 30-10 lead.

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Pacers get the jump on Cavaliers — Sunday's National Basketball Association roundup