5:34 p.m.-CAVALIERS SURVIVE LATE SCARE TO WIN GAME 1
CLEVELAND -- One down, 15 more wins to go.
But that first playoff victory for the Cleveland Cavaliers, a 109-108 decision over the Indiana Pacers, was a close one.
Up by as many as 10 points after Kyle Korver hit a three-pointer on the first play of the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers struggled on the defensive end of the floor, and the Pacers fought their way back to a two-point lead with 3:31 to play in the fourth quarter.
However the Cavaliers outscored the Pacers, 6-3 over the final three minutes to close out the win.
Small forward LeBron James led the way for the Cavaliers with 32 points and 13 assists to go along with six rebounds. James knocked down 12 of his 20 shots from the field, including two of his three looks from three-point range.
In addition to James, the Cavaliers got double-digit scoring efforts from point guard Kyrie Irving (23 points), power forward Kevin Love (17) and reserve forward Channing Frye (11). Center Tristan Thompson corralled 13 rebounds to go along with his eight points.
Five Pacers scored in double figures, led by 29 points from small forward Paul George.
4:56 p.m.-LEBRON COMES ALIVE AND CAVALIERS EXPAND LEAD
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James was patient over the first two quarters of play, not forcing any off-balance shots or making ill-advised drives to the basket, but in the third period, he took over and staked the Cleveland Cavaliers out to a 92-84 lead over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs.
James scored 12 points by sinking five of his seven looks at the basket, including a pair of three-pointers early in the quarter. Additionally, James tallied a pair of assists, one rebound and a pair of steals, the second of which brought everybody inside Quicken Loans Arena to their feet when it turned into a slam dunk.
The Cavaliers got six points from point guard Kyrie Irving and a three-pointer from reserve forward Channing Frye in the third quarter.
4:14 p.m.-CAVALIERS LEAD PACERS, 66-59, AT THE HALF
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to shoot well, hitting 61 percent of their attempts from the field and 42.9 percent of their three-point tries on the way to a 66-59 lead over the Indiana Pacers at halftime of Game 1 in the opening round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
After scoring just four points in the first quarter, Cavaliers small forward LeBron James picked up the pace on the offensive end of the floor by scoring 10 on four-of-four shooting in the second. James finished the first half with 14 points to go along with four rebounds, eight assists and one steal.
In addition to James’ all-around game, the Cavaliers got five points from power forward Kevin Love and seven from point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving added five assists to lead the Cavaliers with nine helpers over the first 24 minutes.
Small forward Paul George led the way for the Pacers with 16 first-half points.
3:37 p.m.-CAVALIERS LEAD PACERS, 34-29, AFTER FIRST QUARTER
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers came out shooting, and hitting, early in Game 1 of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers, and that led to a 34-29 advantage after the first quarter of play from Quicken Loans Arena.
The second-seeded Cavaliers made it a point to establish players other than small forward LeBron James in the early going, namely power forward Kevin Love. Love made all three of his looks at the basket, including three-pointers from both sides of the arc on his way to a team-high 10 points over the first 12 minutes.
Point guard Kyrie Irving got into the scoring by driving toward the hoop and using his speed to create shots in the lane, and it worked to the tune of eight first-quarter points. Irving added four assists in 12 minutes of court time.
The Cavaliers assisted on seven of their 13 baskets in the first quarter.
James tallied just four points, but had two rebounds and three assists in the first quarter.
2:21 p.m.-THE PLAYOFFS ARE HERE
CLEVELAND -- The time to “Defend the Land” and defend the NBA Championship has arrived for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
By virtue of earning the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference after locking up their third straight Central Division Championship, the Cavaliers begin the 2017 NBA Playoffs today against the seventh-seeded Indiana Pacers in front of a capacity crowd at Quicken Loans Arena.
Although the Cavaliers lost six of their last 10 games heading into the postseason, three of those four victories came at Quicken Loans Arena. For the season, the Cavaliers went 31-10 in front of the home fans, and should the opening-round series against the Pacers go the full slate, Game 7 would be in Cleveland.
Last year, the Cavaliers went 7-0 at home through the first three rounds of the playoffs, and 2-1 against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Over the last three years, the Cavaliers have had their struggles with the Pacers, but the opposite proved to be true during the 2016-2017 season.
After losing the first game of four against the Pacers this season, the Cavaliers won the final three matchups, including a 132-117 decision at Indiana followed up by back-to-back wins at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavaliers won those three games by an average margin of 9.67 points.
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