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Pacers steal mojo and Game 1 from the Cavaliers: 3 takeaways

16 April 2018

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.

But then again, the bookmakers and virtually every pro basketball analyst said the Pacers would win 30 after trading disgruntled Paul George to OKC for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis last summer.

"My responsibility has been the same for quite a while now: Go out and try to dominate", James said after practice Saturday, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. Here's the latest game preview with odds to win, start time, channel, and how to watch the Pacers vs. Cavs game live streaming online. The Pacers lead the all-time regular season series 97-92 and won three of the four meetings this season: Cleveland took a 115-108 home win in the last matchup on January 26.

The Pacers won the season series, but it's hard to know how much to read into that with all the changes that the Cavaliers went through.

IN went into Cleveland and took it to the Cavaliers, leading by as many as 23 points and withstanding a second-half rally to give James his first loss in the first round since 2012, a 98-80 defeat. IN took LeBron to the brink in Game 7. James had a streak of 21 straight wins in the first round going. IN managed to get some revenge after failing to win a game against the Cavaliers in 2017.

According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Cavaliers are a 6.5-point favorite on the spread line.

Bogdanovic finished with 17 points in the first game against Cleveland this season, but the Cavs bottled him up over the final three - holding him to 32 percent shooting and 29 percent from long-range. They were 21-20 on the road this season after winning only 13 road games last season. The 10th-year pro also demonstrated the ability to hit shots from well beyond the 3-point arc in transition.

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Carpenter said "a lot about this case is unusual ... baffling nearly ". "Yes, I'm upset", mother Donisha Franklin said. Prestley said after they got home from school Thursday and shared their interest to give, they chose to go outside.

Kevin Love gave the Cavs 16.0 points and a strong 11.0 rebounds over the four games, while Jeff Green added 11.5 points on 62.1 percent shooting.

"As the Land Turns is what I call it", coach Tyronn Lue said, referring to the soap opera by a similar title. The 7.2-point difference in their point differentials is the largest of this year's first-round matchups, and only one team since 2000 has lost a best-of-seven series with an edge of plus-7 or better over its opponent: the 2007 Dallas Mavericks, who lost to the eighth-seeded "We Believe" Golden State Warriors.

These aren't the Cleveland Cavaliers we have gotten used to over the years.

There's simply no one better in the postseason than LeBron James. His usage rate in this game was 36.8 percent higher than anyone else on the team and his highest in any game this season, and he was productive as well. Myles Turner is the third double-digit scorer and Darren Collinson is dishing 5.3 assists.

Myles Turner had 16 points and eight rebounds, Bojan Bogdanovic ended with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals and Lance Stephenson scored 12 points off the bench for IN, which shot nearly 46-percent IN the win. Best of all: We still have at least three more games of this.

Even in a losing effort, James was spectacular as always, recording a triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. "He's the best player in the world". But with lineups changing on an nearly game-by-game basis over the final weeks of the season, it's been a moving target.

Pacers steal mojo and Game 1 from the Cavaliers: 3 takeaways