Love expected to play through thumb injury

Nathaniel S. Butler  NBAE via Getty Images

He scored nine points and had 17 rebounds in Game 1. The most impressive part of his dominance was his efficiency from all over the court. Yet James' early points ultimately proved decisive.

However, his dominance Wednesday shouldn't make the Cavaliers feel confident about the remainder of the postseason.

"I was just telling the guys that never played at Bankers Life in the playoffs how incredible an experience it is just being out on that floor", Turner said following Wednesday's loss. There were fears, however, when the former Minnesota Timberwolves man left the game with just under four minutes remaining with a left thumb injury. He made a 3-pointer 5:25 seconds into the contest, becoming the first Cavaliers player other than James to make a basket.

His display was exactly what head coach Tyronn Lue was asking for in the build-up to the game as he wanted a more aggressive start which would set the tone.

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The answer apparently as easy as it seemed after the Patriots lost in the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles. There's also been some reported friction between the future Hall of Fame quarterback and coach Bill Belichick .

For the Cavs, inexperience seemed to play a large factor in the 98-80 blowout loss to Indiana. Irving was traded to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder who were then traded away mid-season. Especially considering his relationship with LeBron James, who essentially orchestrated Thompson's five-year, $82 million extension in 2015, when he publicly pushed for a Thompson contract while the two shared an agent. Oladipo will continue his high-level play, and the rest of the Pacers should follow suit.

Lue brought Game 1 starters Hood and Jeff Green off the bench in Game 2, turning to JR Smith and Kyle Korver in their place as they joined James, Kevin Love and George Hill in the starting lineup. Counting the playoffs, LeBron has had a Game Score of 30 or more in about 18 percent of his games this season, or roughly one in every five-and-a-half games.

James is historically dominant in the first round of the playoffs, but having to average over 40 minutes already is not ideal for his durability going forward. They left Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, with the first-round series now tied.

Despite Cleveland's mission to even the series, the Pacers have shown that they are not intimidated and won't back down. The series now shifts to IN for Games 3 & 4 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where the Pacers will hold the advantage having the stolen home court with their Game 1 win.


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