Three keys to beating the Indiana Pacers

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Eight of those wins came without Embiid.

There wasn't much for James to smile about during the Cavs' 98-80 loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, aside from the typical antics that come with playing against Stephenson.

These two squads locked up in the opening round of the Playoffs one year ago, but to say that each is a completely different team this year would be an understatement. His Pacers were a surprising 48-34 this season after trading Paul George over the summer.

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Following the win, Oladipo said he wasn't bothered by Gilbert's comment, but did admit that it "added fuel to the fire". In series like this where the lower seed had an advantage in point differential between 0.5 and 1.5 points per game, they've won 41 percent of best-of-seven series since 2000.

If Korver isn't ready, Rodney Hood, one of four players acquired at the trade deadline, will likely start.

The Pacers completely outplayed the three-time defending conference champions, whose turbulent regular season has carried over into the playoffs.

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Rather than trade George to the Cavs on draft day in a deal that would've meant Kevin Love going to Denver and the Pacers getting Gary Harris and other pieces, in backed out and instead sent George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. This is a second-straight opening-round meeting with the Pacers as James had much individual success in the 4-0 sweep previous year where he had four double-doubles and averaged 32.8 points on 54.3 percent shooting from the field and 45 percent from beyond the arc along with 9.8 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 3.0 steals, and 2.0 blocks in 43.8 minutes per game. IN took LeBron to the brink in Game 7. I wouldn't be surprise if he puts up two or three triple-doubles this series and has a 40-point game or two. The Cavaliers had more turnovers (six) than field goals (five) in the opening quarter: they shot 25 percent from the field, including zero for eight from three point range. We project him for 57.4 FD points in Game 2. Cleveland has posted a 36-5 record in the East playoffs over the last three seasons. This year will look quite a bit different, however, as Cleveland no longer has three of their top five scorers (Irving, Deron Williams, and Channing Frye) from that series and IN no longer has their top two (Paul George and Jeff Teague).

After going nuts against IN in the regular season a year ago, the Pacers solved Kyle Korver IN 2017-18 - holding Cleveland's sharpshooter to 21 percent shooting, including a 1-for-14 mark from deep.

Kevin Love admitted that LeBron James' impending decision this offseason is looming over the Cavaliers' playoff run. The Cleveland Cavaliers are allowing 36.8 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.1 rebounds per game. The total will improve from Game 1 but it still falls a little short of the number as there's a big jump to be made here. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Hill's back bothered him after halftime and he was forced to play James at the point. While everyone knows the best basketball is played out West, the only bit of intrigue there centers on the health of the champion Warriors' Stephen Curry (MCL injury). Irreconcilable differences created in the heated exchange that began January 22 when Thomas and Wade called out Love for missing a game and a practice because he was sick, with no further explanation.

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Brodgon hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 96 with 10.3 seconds to go before Terry Rozier's go-ahead 3 with 0.5 on the clock. Up 70-66 entering the fourth quarter, Boston took a double-digit lead at 86-76 on Morris' putback dunk with 4:27 remaining.

Is this the end of LeBron James' run in Cleveland?

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