James stays calm after Cavs stunned in playoff opener

Sports | 17 Apr 2018

Forget LeBron James making his eighth consecutive trip to the NBA finals - the Cleveland Cavaliers star might have trouble just getting out of the opening round of the playoffs.

Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 32 points to power the visiting Indiana Pacers over the Cavaliers 98-80 in their first-round opener. "Stay calm, stay composed, play the game I have all year long," Oladipo said of the key to his overwhelming performance.

James - who finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists - had won 21 first-round games in a row until the rout.

He said falling behind in the best-of-seven series just motivates him to step up his game. "I'm down 0-1 in the first round. I was down 3-1 in the finals," James said, referring to the 2015-2016 season when the Cavs rallied to beat the Golden State Warriors in the finals. "So I'm the last guy to ask about what I'm gonna be like the next couple days."

The Pacers jumped ahead 33-14 and led by as much as 23 points.

Elsewhere, James Harden scored 44 points as the Houston Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-101.

The Boston Celtics edged Milwaukee 113-107 in overtime, while Paul George scored 36 points in leading the Oklahoma City Thunder past Utah 116-108.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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