(Cleveland) - The first game of the post-Kyrie Irving didn't bode well for the Cavaliers.
The Indiana Pacers jumped out to a fast start and the Cavs could never get it going and fell 98-80 to open the playoffs. Game 2 is Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs were just two-of-11 from the field to open the game before Larry Nance, Jr. hit two lay ups. The two made shots were a dunk by Rodney Hood and George Hill. The Cavs were down 20-6 with 4:10 to play before Nance hit the first non-dunk.
The Cavs trailed after one quarter 33-14 and 55-38 at halftime.
Tyronn Lue said the Cavs have to get off to a faster start.
"We cannot ease into the games," Lue said. "This is the playoffs and we have to be more aggressive (from the beginning."
Cleveland had 16 turnovers that led to 18 Pacers points. The Cavs shot just 23.5 percent from behind the three-point line (8-of-34).
Cleveland started the second quarter with 9-1 run (23-34) but then the Pacers negated it with a 6-0 run of their own to lead 40-23 with 7:56 left in half.
Cleveland shot just 36.6 percent in the first half and an atrocious 2-of-14 from three-point range (14.3 pct.).
Early in the third quarter, the Cavs trailed by 23, 61-38, but were able to cut the lead to seven at 70-63 when Kevin Love hit a trey. Love was fouled, but missed the free throw. Cleveland had cut the lead to eight, 73-65 after three quarters. The Cavs were on a 13-1 run led by back-to-back three's by J.R. Smith.
The Cavs could get no closer than seven at 76-69 before Indiana pulled away.
Tough Indy: The Cavs lost 3 of 4 to the Pacers in the regular season and have now lost 4-of-5 to them.
No Love: Kevin Love started 0-3 shooting and finished with just nine points on 3-of-8 shooting.
#Cavs Tyronn Lue spoke about his points of emphasis as the playoffs begin with the Pacers at 3:30 today pic.twitter.com/PfT3QoU28A— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham) April 15, 2018
No Sweep: Last year, the Cavs had a sweep in first the round and were 12-0 in first round games since 2015. There record since 2015 was 36-5 against Eastern Conference opponents.
Passing Michael: With seven field goals LeBron James (2.189) passed Michael Jordan (2.188) for the second most field goals in NBA postseason history. James finished with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
Larry Jr.: Larry Nance Jr. scored10 points and had five rebounds.
Hood Starts: Rodney Hood started after sitting out a couple games with an Achilles injury. Hood started in place of Kyle Korver (foot) who played, but was on a time restriction according to Ty Lue before the game. Besides Hood, LeBron James, George Hill, Jeff Green and Kevin Love were the other starters. Hood, Hill and Green were not with the Cavs for the playoffs last season. hood picked up two quick fouls and was replaced by Korver.
Hood scored nine points. Green did not score.
J.R. Spark: J.R. Smith provided a spark off the bench and hit two key back-to-back treys to bring the Cavs back in the third quarter. He finished with 15 points on 3-of-6 from three-point range.
No Play: Ante Zizic, Cedi Osman and Tristan Thompson didn't play in the rotation, but entered the game in the final two minutes with the game decided.
(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)
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