Coming into game one of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, LeBron James won 17 straight first round playoff games dating back to his days with the Miami Heat. And just like James’ time with the Heat, a Paul George led Indiana Pacers playoff team pushed LeBron’s squad to the limit. But the Cavaliers hung on and fought off a Pacers team that had a good look to end the game.
Early on, the Cavs and Pacers exchanged buckets in the first quarter but eventually Cleveland would pull away heading into the fourth quarter. Cavs star LeBron James threw down some nasty dunks and their lead extended to 12 at one point following a LeBron James fastbreak slam.
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 15, 2017
The Pacers took their first lead since the early in the first quarter after Jeff Teague drilled a three-pointer with 3:30 left and Indy took a 105-103 lead. LeBron James immediately answered with a thunderous two-handed jam, driving right by Myles Turner. James, who finished with 13 assists, then went on to set up Kyrie Irving for a clutch jumper that all but seemed to ensure the Cavs would hold on to the game 1 victory.
With under one minute to go, Pacers star Paul George, who finished with 29 points of his own, came down court and splashed a deep three. Following a defensive stop, the Pacers had one last shot with about 20 seconds to go and the ball was in George’s hand.
The Cavs held on to beat the Pacers 109-108. LeBron James scored 32, handed out 13 assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Kyrie Irving showed off his usual scoring skills dropping 23 points and dished out six assists. Kevin Love scored 17 points for Cleveland.
In a matchup Paul George was looking for, he led the Pacers with 29 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Lance Stephenson provided a spark off the bench at times scoring 16 points and he grabbed seven rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Jeff Teague put up 15 points and handed out four assists but the Cavs were switching LeBron James onto Teague all game in an obvious mismatch.