Oladipo scores 32 points, Pac­ers stun LeBron, Cavs

The Sentinel-Record - - MARKETS -

CLEVE­LAND — Vic­tor Oladipo scored 32 points and the In­di­ana Pac­ers held off Cleve­land’s sec­ond-half rally for a stun­ning

98-80 vic­tory Sun­day in Game 1 of the Eastern Con­fer­ence se­ries, hand­ing LeBron James and the Cava­liers’ their first loss in the open­ing round in eight years.

In­di­ana was in con­trol from the out­set, open­ing a 21-point lead in the first quar­ter and lead­ing by

23 in the third. The Cavs stormed back and got within seven, but Oladipo hit a big 3-pointer and Bo­jan Bog­danovic helped put Cleve­land away with a 3 to make it 88-71.

The Pac­ers com­pletely out­played the three-time de­fend­ing con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons, whose tur­bu­lent reg­u­lar sea­son has car­ried over into the play­offs.

Game 2 is Wed­nes­day night. James scored 24 with 12 as­sists and 10 re­bounds for his 20th ca­reer triple-dou­ble. But James got lit­tle help as Cleve­land’s four other

starters — Kevin Love, Jeff Green, Rod­ney Hood and Ge­orge Hill — com­bined for 25 points.

This is all new to James, who had won 21 con­sec­u­tive first-round games. The 33-year-old is try­ing to get to his eighth straight Fi­nals. The path is tougher than imag­ined.

Cleve­land had won 14 straight first-round games, last los­ing on April 22, 2010, the last sea­son of James’ first stint with the Cavs. In­di­ana was swept by Cleve­land in last year’s open­ing round.

CELTICS 113, BUCKS 107, OT

BOS­TON — Al Hor­ford had 24 points and 12 re­bounds and Bos­ton over­came Khris Mid­dle­ton’s long 3 that beat the fourth-quar­ter buzzer to top Mil­wau­kee in Game 1 of the Eastern Con­fer­ence se­ries.

The Celtics led, 99-96, with 0.5 sec­onds left in reg­u­la­tion when Mid­dle­ton took an in­bounds pass on the far right wing and hit a con­tested 35-footer.

Terry Rozier added 23 points, four re­bounds and three as­sists for Bos­ton in his first ca­reer play­off start. Jaylen Brown fin­ished with 20 points, and rookie Jayson Ta­tum added 19 points and 10 re­bounds.

Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo led the Bucks with 35 points, 13 re­bounds and seven as­sists be­fore foul­ing out in over­time. Mid­dle­ton had 31 points, eight re­bounds and six as­sists.

Game 2 is tonight in Bos­ton.

ROCK­ETS 104, TIM­BER­WOLVES 101

HOUS­TON — James Harden scored 44 points and pow­ered a big fourth-quar­ter run that al­lowed Hous­ton to out­last Min­ne­sota in Game 1 of the first-round play­off se­ries.

Min­ne­sota scored four straight points to get within 3 with about 30 sec­onds left. Chris Paul added two free throws af­ter that for Hous­ton, but a tip-in by Karl-An­thony Towns got Min­ne­sota back within 3. Af­ter a bad pass by Paul gave Min­ne­sota a chance to tie with 1.5 sec­onds left, Jimmy But­ler’s shot was short.

The top-seeded Rock­ets had their hands full with the No. 8 Tim­ber­wolves on a night where Hous­ton made just 10 of 37 3-point­ers. Harden made 7 of 12 3-point­ers, but Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker, Eric Gor­don and Paul com­bined to make just 3 of their 22 tries.

Hous­ton kept All-Star big man Towns in check, lim­it­ing him to just eight points. An­drew Wig­gins scored 18 points to lead Min­ne­sota.

Game 2 is Wed­nes­day night in Hous­ton.

THUN­DER 116, JAZZ 108

OK­LA­HOMA CITY — Paul Ge­orge scored 36 points to help Ok­la­homa City beat Utah in Game

1 of the West­ern Con­fer­ence se­ries. Ge­orge set an Ok­la­homa City play­off record with eight 3-point­ers, blow­ing past the pre­vi­ous record of five. He made 8 of 11 shots from long range, and 13 of 20 shots over­all. It was his first play­off game with the Thun­der since be­ing ac­quired in a trade with In­di­ana in the off­sea­son.

Rus­sell West­brook had 29 points, 13 re­bounds and eight as­sists, and Carmelo An­thony added 15 points for the Thun­der Jazz rookie Dono­van Mitchell had 27 points and 10 re­bounds, but he left in the sec­ond half with left foot sore­ness. He re­turned in the fourth quar­ter but was no­tice­ably hob­bling.

Game 2 is Wed­nes­day night in Ok­la­homa City.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

OFF THE PACE: Cleve­land Cava­liers’ LeBron James (23) drives to the bas­ket against In­di­ana Pac­ers’ Vic­tor Oladipo (4) in the first half of the Pac­ers’ un­ex­pected 98-80 vic­tory in the first round of the NBA play­offs Sun­day in Cleve­land.

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