Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - what to watch

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Eight of those wins came without Embiid.

LeBron James' run at an incredible eighth-straight National Basketball Association finals appearance begins with his Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs. The incomparable, 33-year old James has owned the conference for what seems like forever.

After trading Paul George over the offseason, some pundits had the Pacers headed for the Lottery.

"My responsibility has been the same for quite a while now: Go out and try to dominate", James said after practice Saturday, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

The Cavaliers continued their push in the early stages of the final period, with James' layup with 10:29 to go in the game making it a seven-point contest at 76-69. No one does, really, except Lance Stephenson about four times a year.

The Cavs will get their first playoff action on Sunday afternoon with a first-round matchup against the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers stole homecourt with a dominant 98-80 win over Cleveland, with Stephenson and James having plenty of run-ins.

And then there's the Indiana Pacers. He's 48-7 lifetime in first-round playoff games, with 21 consecutive wins. League leader in total points and clutch scoring. We project him for 57.4 FD points in Game 2. The Cavs got within seven in the fourth, but Oladipo, once a role player who has blossomed into an All-Star in his first season with in, hit a big 3-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a 3 to make it 88-71. They were 21-20 on the road this season after winning only 13 road games last season. The Indiana Pacers are averaging 105.6 points on 47.2 percent shooting and allowing 104.2 points on 46.5 percent shooting.

On the other side, it was a one-man show as James had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Pacers: Only have two starters -- Myles Turner and Thaddeus Young - from the team Cleveland swept a year ago.

With Irving traded and his replacement, the since-traded Isaiah Thomas, out through December, many people predicted before the season Love would put up his best numbers since coming to Cleveland in 2014.

The Cavaliers struggled shooting the ball as they hit only 38.5 percent from the field.

He's also never lost the opening game of a series, which bodes well for his latest Cavs group [VIDEO]. On the other end, five early points from Myles Turner and back-to-back three-point plays from Bojan Bogdanovic allowed IN to open up an 18-4 lead. IN was on roll through April 1, but did lose three of its final five games heading into the postseason.

As in the Bucks-Celtics series, an injury to an All-Star point guard (in this case, two-time MVP Stephen Curry) might make this a more competitive series than the overall numbers would indicate.

The game had plenty of words exchanged between the two.

Is this the end of LeBron James' run in Cleveland?

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