6:03 p.m.-VICTOR OLADIPO LEADS INDIANA PACERS TO GAME 1 WIN OVER CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers had no answer when it came to stopping Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, and that led to a 98-80 Game 1 loss in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena Sunday.
Oladipo converted 11 of his 19 shots from the field, including six of his nine looks from three-point range on the way to a game-high 32 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists over 37 minutes of play in the victory.
Although Oladipo led the way for the Pacers, he had plenty of help as post Myles Turner (16 points), forward Bojan Bogdanovic (15) and reserve guard Lance Stephenson (12) each scored in double figures in the Game 1 win for the Eastern Conference’s No. 5 seed.
Small forward LeBron James led the fourth-seeded Cavaliers with a triple-double of 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, but he was the only Cleveland starter to score in double figures.
Cavaliers reserve shooting guard J.R. Smith scored 15 points in 29 minutes off the bench and hit three of Cleveland’s eight three-pointers in the loss. Reserve forward Larry Nance Jr. scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds in 30 minutes.
5:51 p.m.-LEBRON JAMES PASSES MICHAEL JORDAN FOR SECOND-MOST FIELD GOALS IN NBA PLAYOFFS HISTORY
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James continued to pad his resume for the National Basketball Hall of Fame with a driving layup against the Indiana Pacers early in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena Sunday.
At the 10:29 mark of the fourth quarter, James got a driving layup to fall, and in doing so, moved past Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan for the second-most made field goals in NBA Playoffs history.
The layup was James’ 2,189th field goal of his postseason career.
James trails only Milwaukee Bucks/Los Angeles Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most field goals in NBA Playoffs history. Abdul-Jabbar made 2,356 field goals during his 20-year NBA career.
5:32 p.m.-CAVALIERS TRAIL BY EIGHT HEADING INTO FINAL QUARTER
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers trailed the Indiana Pacers by as many as 22 points early in the third quarter, but they found their game on both sides of the floor and trimmed the deficit down to just eight points with 12 minutes to play in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
Over the last 9:16 of the third quarter, the Cavaliers outscored the Pacers, 24-10, and trailed by a 73-65 count heading into the fourth period.
Although the Cavaliers hit just three of their 12 looks from three-point range in the third quarter, they limited the Pacers to only one-of-six shooting from long distance out of the halftime break.
Shooting guard J.R. Smith led the way for the Cavaliers with eight third-quarter points.
5:17 p.m.-J.R. SMITH FINDS HIS RHYTHM FROM THREE-POINT RANGE
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers did not have much success from three-point range over the first 30 minutes of play, but shooting guard J.R. Smith is beginning to rewrite that script in the third quarter of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena.
First, there was the triple from the left wing that center Kevin Love set up with a hustle play .
After chasing down an offensive rebound following a missed 30-footer from small forward LeBron James, Love swung the ball over to Smith on the left wing, and the veteran shooting guard rose up over a close-out from a defender and buried the triple.
Then, four minutes later, James swung a pass from the left side of the floor over to the right wing where Smith caught the ball, and despite being off-balance buried his second triple of the game, which forced the Pacers into a timeout.
Thirty seconds later, Smith kept the good momentum going from three-point range when he knocked down a 26-footer with 3:07 to play in the third quarter.
4:49 p.m.-PACERS END FIRST HALF ON 13-6 SCORING RUN
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers got the deficit down to 10 points midway through the second quarter, but a 13-6 scoring run gave the Indiana Pacers a 55-38 lead after the first half of play in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
After Cavaliers small forward LeBron James scored seven of the team’s nine points and assisted on another basket over a 96-second stretch, the Pacers found their shot from three-point range as guard Victor Oladipo and forward Myles Turner buried triples over the final 2:20 of the second quarter.
Turner buried his first three-pointer of the game with just 2.1 seconds to play in the second quarter.
4:32 p.m.-LEBRON JAMES USES RIDICULOUS MOVES TO GET TO THE HOOP
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James may be listed as a forward, but he sure can handle the basketball, and he put that on display on drives to the hoop midway through the second quarter of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena.
First, there was a behind-the-back dribble to get beyond the defense of forward Bojan Bogdanovic and into the lane, where he got a short shot to fall despite being fouled by Domantas Sabonis.
James completed the three-point play when he sunk the ensuing free throw.
Then, two possessions later, James got the better of Pacers guard Lance Stephenson with a quick spin move that led to a layup.
James continued the run with a driving layup that danced on the rim before dropping through the hoop just 26 seconds later. Following the layup, James was seen smiling at Stephenson on the way up the floor.
LeBron stared a hole through Lance 👀 pic.twitter.com/39b5ZV7cm1— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) April 15, 2018
4:23 p.m.-CAVALIERS START SECOND QUARTER ON MONSTER RUN
CLEVELAND -- Down by 19 points at the end of the first quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers came out reenergized at the start of the second period.
The Cavaliers made four of their first seven shots of the second quarter, including a three-pointer from shooting guard J.R. Smith on the left wing. Smith’s three-pointer was the Cavaliers’ first make of the game from long distance, and his driving layup in the lane cut the deficit down to 11 points, 34-23, with 8:47 to play in the half.
Smith’s layup capped off a 9-1 scoring run for the Cavaliers and forced the Pacers to burn their first timeout of the game.
4:13 p.m.-PACERS LEAD CAVALIERS, 33-14, AFTER FIRST QUARTER
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers did not have the start they wanted to against the Indiana Pacers, and it showed after the first quarter of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
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 guard Victor Oladipo, on the way to a 33-14 lead after the first quarter in Cleveland.
Oladipo led the way for the Pacers with 11 points on three-of-six shooting, including a three-for-four mark from long distance in the first quarter.
The Cavaliers committed six turnovers and eight personal fouls in the first 12 minutes of play.
3:53 p.m.-PACERS JUMP OUT TO DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD
CLEVELAND -- Although there was an emotional lift for the Cleveland Cavaliers from George Hill’s thunderous one-handed dunk, the Indiana Pacers turned that negative into a positive in short order in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
Over the next five minutes, the Pacers outscored the Cavaliers, 14-2, and took an 18-6 lead after forward Bojan Bogdanovic completed back-to-back three-point plays at the 4:58 and 4:33 marks of the first quarter.
During their run, the Pacers got a three-pointer from guard Victor Oladipo, a free throw and 19-foot jumper from forward/center Myles Turner and a driving layup from Darren Collison ahead of the consecutive three-point plays.
3:46 p.m.- CLEVELAND CAVALIERS PG GEORGE HILL THROWS DOWN MONSTER DUNK ON PASS FROM LEBRON JAMES
CLEVELAND -- Over his 15-year professional career, Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James has become known for throwing down highlight-reel dunks, but also, he is pretty good at setting them up too, as was proven in the early going of Game 1 of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
While pressuring Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo in the front court, James stole a pass and began a fast break with point guard George Hill on the right side of the floor with a defender in tow.
Despite the defense, James threaded the needle on a pass to Hill, who caught the ball while cutting to the hoop from the right wing. After controlling the ball, Hill rose up and threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk that brought the crowd to its feet.
Hill’s dunk drew the Cavaliers even with the Pacers, 4-4, at the 9:09 mark of the first quarter.
2:37 p.m.-RODNEY HOOD TO START GAME 1 FOR CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, KYLE KORVER ON MINUTE RESTRICTION
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers talked about getting healthy in time for the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and while they enter today’s Game 1 matchup against the Indiana Pacers mostly ready to go, there is one exception at shooting guard.
Because of a lingering foot injury, Kyle Korver will be on a minutes restriction for Game 1, and guard Rodney Hood will replace him in the starting lineup against the Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena this afternoon.
“Rodney’s been well in that starting role, so Rodney’s starting tonight,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue confirmed before the game.
During the regular season, Hood averaged 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.7 steals over 21 games with the Cavaliers. Hood converted 44.2 percent of his attempts from the field, 35.2 percent of his three-point tries and was an 81.3-percent shooter from the free-throw line.
After arriving in Cleveland via one of three trades on February 8, the 6-foot-8, 206-pound Hood struggled to consistently play with the type of aggressiveness that made him an effective player for the Utah Jazz, and the Cavaliers will do their best to remind him of the importance of playing his style against the Pacers.
“It changes a lot,” Lue said. “I think when he’s aggressive, making shots, attacking the basket, it takes a lot of pressure off of LeBron and Kevin.
“He’s capable of doing that. We’ve just got to stay on him about being aggressive, looking for his shot, looking to rebound the basketball and pushing in transition. We’re going to stay on him about that, and it’ll open up the floor for a lot of other people also.”
Although Hood will start Game 1 today because of Korver’s minutes restriction, Lue believes the 14-year NBA veteran will be a major contributor for the Cavaliers as the first-round series continues, starting with Wednesday’s Game 2 matchup in Cleveland.
“Not a concern because today Steve (Spiro) and Kyle spoke about how he feels really good,” Lue said.
“First, you’ve got to get on the court, go up and down, cut and move and see how you feel, but just to be cautious, he’s on a minute restriction for tonight, but he says he feels great. He’s been moving great, so hopefully, that continues.
“I think we’ll be okay. I think the most important thing is just getting Kyle 100 percent. I think that’s the most important thing, and we don’t want to overuse him in the first game. Whether he’s feeling great or not, we just want to be cautious and he understands that. The staff understands that. I don’t think it changes anything we’re going to do going forward.”
2:00 p.m.-CAVALIERS, PACERS SET TO START FIRST ROUND OF 2018 NBA PLAYOFFS
CLEVELAND -- After a long regular season full of challenges, health concerns and roster shakeups, the Cleveland Cavaliers begin the journey back to the top of the mountain as they open the 2018 NBA Playoffs with a Game 1 matchup against the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena today.
The Pacers won three of the four meetings in the regular season, and despite a late-season push, came up short of the Cavaliers in the Central Division standings, which gave Cleveland home-court advantage in the first-round.
Two of the Cavaliers' three regular-season losses to the Pacers came by four points or less, and the yearly series was completed well ahead of Cleveland's roster shakeup at the NBA Trade Deadline on February 8.
“It’s good having everyone healthy," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said ahead of Game 1.
"We talked about it all year, just going into the postseason with all of our guys healthy. Nothing tricky or nothing new, but just getting our guys on the floor and letting them play at 100 percent is the thing that we wanted to do this year. With the exception of Kyle (Korver), who’s feeling well, I think it’s about 100 percent."
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