Thompson was given exactly 1 minute and 59 seconds of playing time at the very tail end of the Cavs' 80-98 loss, down from an average of around 14 minutes of court-time earned in the previous ten games, and way, way down from the average of 31 minutes per game he notched during 2017's post-season. He scored a game-high 32 points on 11-for-19 shooting (6-for-9 from 3) and added six rebounds, four assists and four steals in the wire-to-wire victory.
Russell Westbrook had 29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, and Carmelo Anthony added 15 points for the Thunder, who will host Game 2 on Wednesday.
James had a triple double in a losing cause with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.
But while he knows the narrative before Wednesday night's Game 2 will be on the struggles of Cleveland's playoff newcomers, James isn't anxious.
The Cavs fell behind 33-12 during a odd first quarter that included Cleveland missing all eight 3-pointers, James not attempting his first field goal until 1:52 remained and fans in Quicken Loans Arena wondering what they were seeing.
It's the first time in his career that he's gone down 0-1 following the opening game of the postseason.
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. Well, if we are hoping for LeBron to arrive in Los Angeles anytime soon, we should be hoping for an abnormally early exit for James and the Cavaliers.
Coming into the playoffs, no one assumed that mantle better than the Indiana Pacers, who after 82 games of solid but unspectacular basketball, were the playoff team standing in the corner at the school dance not getting any love. "We just gotta shoot the ball and if you make it, you make it, and if you miss, you miss. I was down 3-1 in the Finals", James said after the game. The Cavs just started off slow, which is why they lost the game.
"They are a great team", Stephenson told reporters. While Turner felt the Pacers "did a pretty good job" with their transition defense, he noted that some lapses in communication resulted in open looks for Cleveland's shooters. At the end of the day you've just got to go out there and do what you do."Hill, Love hurtCavaliers point guard George Hill hurt his back when he was crushed from behind on a screen by Trevor Booker in the second quarter". Maybe it shows them some obvious adjustments to make moving forward. So, today was definitely a good test for some of our younger guys and like I said, I think they'll be a lot better especially in Game 2."And not just them", James continued. That's why we came to play this game is to win, not just to come here and just be OK. You get the idea.
The "Lance vs. LeBron" storyline is an old favorite for both the local and national media. Kevin Love collected 17 rebounds but contributed only nine points. So, we take it as everybody has to dig deep and not lose two of them on our home floor."Jeff Green's a vet with playoff experience".