LeBron notches 20th playoff triple-double but Cavs fall in Game 1

Pacers To Face Cavs In Round 1 Of Playoffs

Despite a triple-double from LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped Game 1 of the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs to the Indiana Pacers by a score of 98-80 at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday afternoon.

LeBron James scored 24 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 20th career post-season triple-double. IN jumped to a 19 point lead after the opening quarter and kept Cleveland at arm's length as the Cavaliers didn't draw closer than seven the rest of the way. That proved to be the Cavs' last chance as the Pacers put together a 12-2 run in just a three-minute span to boost the lead back up to 17 at 88-71.

The Cleveland Cavaliers face a familiar foe in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. 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. Now, the Cavs are set to play the Indiana Pacers in round one. This season, the Pacers beat the Cavs three out of four, so this series figures to be a close, hard-fought affair.

But while he knows the narrative before Wednesday's Game 2 will be on the struggles of Cleveland's playoff newcomers, James isn't anxious.

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 9, 2018 in New York City.

The Wine & Gold will also be seeing a lot of Cory Joseph and LeBron's old friend, Lance Stephenson, over the course of the series.

"Cleveland Whatever It Takes" is displayed on the shirt. Since 2012, James has not lost a single game in the first round.

Cleveland finished two games ahead of IN in the standings. Can the Cavaliers turn it up a notch as they open the postseason this afternoon at home versus the Indiana Pacers?

When playing the Pacers, one of the more effective strategies they have used has been to "blitz" the dribbler to defuse a potential pick-and-roll run by Oladipo.

"I will play 10", Lue said after the Cavaliers watched film on the Pacers, who went 3-1 against Cleveland this season.

IN hit 52.2 percent (12 of 23) while holding Cleveland to 25 percent (5 of 20) to take a 33-14 lead after the first quarter. The difference has been that, come playoff time, James and his team morph into a different sort of team. Are this year's Pacers ready to take the next step they couldn't with Paul George? If Curry is back for what is an expected showdown series with the Rockets in the conference finals, they'll be the best in the West yet again. Coach Tyronne Lue started Hood over Kyle Korver, who has lingering soreness in his right foot and was on a minutes' restriction.



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