Oladipo scores 32 as Pacers stun LeBron, Cavs

LeBron James left and Bojan Bogdanovic

LeBron James left and Bojan Bogdanovic

The Indiana Pacers netted the first big shocker of the postseason on national television as they took the first game of the series at the Quicken Loans arena against LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers by a margin of 98 points to 80.

Clint Capela did the early damage for the Rockets with 24 points and 12 rebounds and it just proved to be enough, despite the Timberwolves' second half pressure. The Cavs got within seven in the fourth, but Oladipo, once a role player who has blossomed into an All-Star in his first season with in, hit a big 3-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a 3 to make it 88-71.

The Pacers won three of their four regular season games against the Cavs, and after stealing home court, anything is possible. LeBron James himself played strong, with a triple-double, scoring 24 points, with 12 assists and 10 rebounds. The rest of Cleveland's starters only managed 25 points, Kevin Love with 17 rebounds but only nine points. Sunday's opening round loss against the Pacers is the first time since April 22, 2010 the Cavaliers have lost in the first round dating back to when the Bulls beat the Cavs in Chicago.

So, this is LeBron James' first loss in the NBA Playoffs' first round in six years. He will try to rally the Cavaliers in Game 2 set for Wednesday night at 7 pm E.T. James has been to the past seven NBA Finals. In the last five, the Cleveland Cavaliers or Miami Heat had swept the first round with James at the lead.

It's the continuation of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff matchup between a pair of Central Division rivals.

Oladipo led all scorers with 32 points, adding six rebounds as well in his starring performance. Jaylen Brown finished with 20 points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a game-high 35 points and 13 rebounds and Khris Middleton scored 31 for Milwaukee, which hasn't advanced past the first round in seven straight postseason appearances dating back to 2003. Jeff Green played 27 minutes and did not score a single point.

The likes of Jordan Clarkson (2-for-6 in shooting), Rodney Hood (3-for-7), Jose Calderon (0-3), and Jeff Green (0-7) were all off with their shots but the three-time National Basketball Association champion believes they will perform better as they continue to gain playoff experience. While the Cavaliers' shooting from the field improved during the quarter, they again delivered some self-inflicted wounds by missing five free throws in the period. The Pacers easily could have won the game by a bigger margin had they cashed in at the charity stripe and capitalized more on Cleveland's miscues. It was one game that started very poorly and the Cavs couldn't dig themselves out from a 19-point first-quarter deficit.

The Bucks closed to 89-87 before Marcus Morris made a falling-down jumper just inside the arc to make it 91-87.

The two meet again in OH on Wednesday for the second clash in the seven-match series.

With Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart out of the lineup, Boston need to maintain a balanced scoring attack to contend.

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