Pacers' Paul George comments on CJ Miles getting final shot

Paola Ditto
Aprile 16, 2017

LeBron James scored 32 points and Cleveland, looking to flip a switch after a shaky-and-streaky regular season, began the postseason by escaping with a 109-108 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

LeBron James scored 32 points and the defending champion Cavaliers, looking to flip the switch after a shaky regular season, began the National Basketball Association playoffs by escaping with a 109-108 Game 1 victory over the Indiana Pacers yesterday in Cleveland.

"It doesn't matter how you get a win in the playoffs, we're up 1-0", James said immediately after the game. "I think he made the right play, and you live with the results". That's one number that will nearly assuredly rise for Cleveland, making poor defensive adjustments all the more risky moving forward.

James ended up being the most risky player on the court, leading the Cavs with 32 points, 13 assists and six rebounds.

"We won the fourth quarter which we needed to do to close this game out", George said.

The idea was to get a stop.

Teague scored 15 points for the Pacers and Lance Stephenson came off the bench to score 16. IN wanted star Paul George to take the last shot, but Cleveland double-teamed him and he was forced to pass it to Miles, whose shot was on line but short. He even ran at Miles calling for the ball, but Miles dribbled in the opposite direction before pump-faking and missing a look at a game-winning buzzer beater.

"We just didn't flash high enough", said McMillan postgame.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers will be gutted that they missed out stealing home-court advantage in Game 1 but they will be quietly confident of their chances in this series despite the heartbreaking loss. In the second quarter, however, the Cavs' superstar started to take over.

George poured in 29 points - 16 in the first half - grabbed five rebounds, and dished out seven assists. Cleveland finally appeared to gain control when they used a 10-0 run late in the third, but the Pacers once again fought back, in this instance due to the play of Stephenson.

The Pacers actually took a 2-point lead with 3:32 to go, their first lead since the first quarter, but the Cavs took it back not long after.

On three consecutive trips down the floor, the Cavs denied Pacers forward Paul George the ball, forcing his teammates to make a play. James finished the first half with 14 points to go along with four rebounds, eight assists and one steal. "They got a lot of talent, they got to bring it together, but they got a lot of talent and they got Lebron James, and that means a lot", said Rivera.

The play was clearly drawn up to get the ball out of George's hands. Indicative of just how bad they were in this area was the fact that they shot better from the field (54 percent) than from the line (52 percent). He said they will head into this summer prioritizing adding shot-blocking, wing defence and shooting after the team finished last in 3-pointers made and attempted. Hats off to [the Pacers]. But we'll be better.

Channing Frye was also in double-digit scoring with 11 points, while Tristan Thompson collected 13 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Like Irving, they acknowledged that things still need to get better, but that a win is a win. We were up by 12, but they kept pushing. They turned the ball over 11 times, leading to 19 IN points.

Lance Stephenson had 16 and seven rebounds off the bench, Jeff Teague scored 15 points and Myles Turner and Monta Ellis each had 11 points for IN, which missed the final attempt IN the last second.

He's competed against LeBron in the playoffs before, when King James was playing for the Miami Heat and they met up in Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014. "A lot of unforced turnovers and free throws we gave up".

"I'd love to have a repeat".

Game 2 of the series is in Cleveland on Monday.

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