Aside from Harden (44 points, eight assists) and Clint Capela (24 points, 12 rebounds), there is great room for improvement from Game 1 across the board for the Rockets. It was a game that fans of all teams were looking forward to watching after IN had walked into Cleveland and handed LeBron James and company a 98-80 blowout loss IN Game 1.
The Pacers got creative in their coverages throughout the game, at one point shifting 6-11 center Myles Turner onto the 6-6 Smith, and likely will have more ideas after a couple days' worth of watching film.
"I have a clean appearance, I took and that I missed, &rdquo". If they can take care of business at home, James and the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions will get an early exit from the 2018 playoffs.
The Cavaliers' four-time MVP victor was the brightest star on the night with 46 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists, helping to tie their first-round playoff series at 1-1 entering Game 3 and a trip to Indianapolis on Friday.
Paul top scored with 27 points, while Gerald Green also contributed 21 points and 12 rebounds after coming off the bench.
"What I told those guys is, just your first playoff experience, just play hard and compete", Lue said before Game 1.
Love said X-rays were negative and he expects to play Game 3.
What were some of your takeaways from Game 2?
Utah got off to a fast start in Game 1 but was unable to sustain the early lead.
Jamal Crawford scored 16 points for the eighth-seeded Timberwolves, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
"They basically hit us in the mouth", Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. With Cleveland blitzing and crowding virtually every screen involving Oladipo, they allowed a whopping 62 points in the paint on Wednesday.
But there is still major concern of the support cast for James in Cleveland as the rest of the team shot below 50 per cent from the field.
He scored the first 13 points of the game, and the first 16 points for the Cavaliers.
Clearly, they need more contributors on the floor, but the most worrying sign was that they allowed the Pacers - without Oladipo for a large part of the comeback - back into the match despite a dominant first quarter.
Hood finished with five points on 2-for-5 shooting in Game 2.