April 15, 2017, 3:52 pm
LeBron James was phenomenal in Saturday’s 109-108 win, posting 32 points, six rebounds, 13 assists and three steals in 43 minutes of action.
James was as advertised in this one, absolutely decimating the Pacers with his brilliant vision and capitalizing on numerous mismatches throughout. He shot 12-of-20 from the floor, 2-of-3 from deep and just 6-of-9 from the line. That’s one part of a larger issue, as the Cavs were 14-of-27 on free throws as a team. Despite leading most of the way, this was a winnable game for Indiana – they couldn’t capitalize on Cleveland’s horrendous free throw mark and allowed the Cavs to shoot a blistering mark from the field to build up their early lead. At one point in the first half the Cavs were 21-of-30. Still, despite James’ best efforts, the Cavs never pushed the lead to an unreachable level as Indy battled back time and time again. LeBron spent his fair share of possessions guarding of his position, and it’ll be fun to see how that unfolds as the series progresses. Offensively, he put Jeff Teague in the torture rack, drawing the point guard on numerous switches over the course of this one. It’s a matchup he’ll win every time and something that Cleveland will probably look to continue going forward.