Cavs hold on for 1-point Game 1 win
LeBron James scored 32 points and the defending champion Cavaliers, looking to flip the switch after a shaky regular season, began the NBA playoffs by escaping with a 109-108 victory over the Pacers on Saturday in Cleveland.
Playing in his 200th playoff game, James added 13 assists and six rebounds while winning his 18th consecutive first-round game. The Cavaliers have now won 12 straight playoff games at home.
However, it was anything but easy as they had to withstand a strong comeback by the Pacers, who could have stolen Game 1. C.J. Miles missed a 14-foot jumper in the final second.
Paul George had the ball in his hands on the final possession, but the Cavaliers double-teamed him, forcing him to pass to Miles, who has always shot well against his former team. Miles’ shot was on line but short.
Kyrie Irving scored 23 points and Kevin Love added 17 for the Cavaliers, who had gone 10-14 since March 1 and lost their last four regular-season games.
George scored 29 points and Lance Stephenson had 16 for the seventh-seeded Pacers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points, rookie Malcolm Brogdon had 16 and the Bucks won in Toronto in Game 1 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Playing in his second career playoff series, Antetokounmpo made 13 of 18 shots and added eight rebounds and three assists. Greg Monroe had 14 points, Tony Snell 11 and Khris Middleton finished with 10 and nine assists.
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and Serge Ibaka had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Raptors, who have lost the opening game in eight consecutive playoff series.
The sister of Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas died Saturday morning in a one-car accident in Federal Way, Wash.
The Washington State Patrol said 22-year-old Chyna J. Thomas died at the scene on Interstate 5 after the accident about 5 a.m. The police report said she wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
The Boston Globe reported that Isaiah Thomas was planning to stay in Boston to play in Sunday’s first-round playoff opener against the Bulls.