The Pacers set the tone early on in the game, ending the first quarter with a 33-14 lead.
James posted 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Turns out, there was something new.
Cavaliers star LeBron James is still confident about his side's chances in the National Basketball Association playoffs despite a shock Game 1 defeat to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
It also was the first playoff-opening loss for James, who came in 12-0 and didn't realise he had been ideal starting the post-season.
"Listen, it's fun", James said of Stephenson. "I've never lost a game in the first round before in my career?"
Rockets 104, T-wolves 101HOUSTON - James Harden scored 44 points and powered a big fourth-quarter run that allowed the Houston Rockets to outlast the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-101 on Sunday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series. Despite LeBron James posting a triple-double in the loss, the Cavaliers see themselves in a 0-1 hole.
The NBA playoffs rarely get upsets in the first round, but the Pacers downing the three-time defending East champions would certainly raise some eyebrows.
Al Horford scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Boston and Terry Rozier, starting in place of injured Kyrie Irving, added 23 points.
When the final horn sounded, the Pacers didn't celebrate or run around the floor like they had accomplished anything special. Usually in playoffs, those teams win", coach Tyronn Lue said."They were more aggressive". Overall, the Pacers will be satisfied with their performance as they simply outhustled the Cavaliers on both ends of the floor and there was just no running them down. That's what we're focused on: "taking it one game at a time, trying to win every game".
Besides LeBron, no Cavs starter finished in double figures.
"Is it?" James said. The Cavs just started off slow, which is why they lost the game. The Pacers are a good team that threatened to challenge James in the first round.
Well, it's now going to take a first-round comeback.
That experience means the three-time champion isn't anxious about this latest hole that Cleveland is in. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence. "They still don't believe". "We just gotta shoot the ball and if you make it, you make it, and if you miss, you miss". "He's a tough player and you've got to play your best when you play against him. When you don't, you saw what he's capable of".
Oladipo has become one of the NBA's rising stars, and after being a role player in Oklahoma City, he's Indiana's main attraction and looked like a seasoned star on the playoff stage.
"I already had fuel", Oladipo told USA Today. "I'm aware of what he said". I can't control his opinion.
Every now and then, they get the reaction Stephenson wants, like when he drew a technical foul on James in Indiana's 97-95 win over the Cavs on January 12. Lue expects Hill to be good for Wednesday. It came up recently, obviously, because we're playing the Cavs in the series.
The Pacers got a huge contribution from the struggling Myles Turner. Haven't won a series since beating Washington in six games in the 2014 semifinals. He was 12-0 in his opening game of a postseason.
Sometimes, Stephenson's antics backfire (like when he made a choke sign at James from the Pacers' bench during the 2012 playoffs). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) tops the list.