That aside, the two teams were relatively close in point differential because Portland's plus-2.6 differential was relatively low for a top-three seed; last season's Boston Celtics were the only other top-three seed with a differential of less than plus-3 since 2012.
"We believe that we can win", Oladipo said.
"It's going to be a very good matchup", James said Saturday.
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. Curry left early in the first quarter of the teams' March 10 meeting in the Bay, a game the Warriors came back to win 110-107 behind 37 points from Kevin Durant.
"So I think it definitely could affect it, but you know that's, at least for me, out of sight, out of mind right now".
The Blue & Gold started the second half strong, scoring the first six points of the third quarter to open up their largest lead of the afternoon. We project him for 57.4 FD points in Game 2.
It was the 13th time Oladipo was scoring 30 or more points this season. If anyone thought his regular season was a mirage that would dissolve once the playoffs started, they're sorely mistaken. Just when it looked like LeBron and the Pacers were ready to play out an old familiar script, IN stepped on the gas and turned things into a blowout.
The Pacers, who play like a team not a group of individuals who care more about a paycheck than winning games, will make this a series, unlike what George could do for IN previous year.
It feels like the Cleveland Cavaliers have been stuck in the same news cycle for years now.
LeBron James hadn't lost a first round game in the NBA Playoffs since he was a member of the Miami Heat. For the game, they hit 30-of-78 (38.5 percent) from the field, but managed just 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc, with those game-long struggles making any sustained comeback effort futile. Before the Cavaliers dealt Jae Crowder at the trade deadline, he was the player Pacers center Myles Turner sagged off. On the other end, five early points from Myles Turner and back-to-back three-point plays from Bojan Bogdanovic allowed IN to open up an 18-4 lead. Defensively, we were pretty good.
During an interview with ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Love said he's trying not to focus on the possibility but also acknowledge the potential importance of postseason success on LeBron James' upcoming free-agent decision. Cleveland's best gameplan would be to play fast-paced basketball. 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 will snap LeBron James's streak of 21 straight first-round playoff wins.