LeBron James led all scorers with 32 points to go with 13 assists and six rebounds. His teams have an 18-game winning streak in the first round.
This victory almost didn't happen.
James missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left and the Pacers had the ball out of a timeout. Miles, a former Cavalier who had games of 23 and 27 points against Cleveland this season, broke free and a mid-range shot at the buzzer clang off the iron.
CJ Miles misses, Cavs survive Game 1 pic.twitter.com/PowjmCro0m— Giannis Wobtokounmpo (@World_Wide_Wob) April 15, 2017
Paul George finished with 29 points for the Pacers. His 3-pointer with 40 seconds left cut the Cavaliers' lead to within a point.
The Cavaliers led by 12 late in the third quarter and were ahead by 10 with 9:04 remaining. They fell behind on Teague's 3-pointer with 3:31 to go. James, Irving, and Love had missed the last six shots for Cleveland.
James passed Tim Duncan (1,975 field goals) for fifth place in playoff history in buckets.
Game 2 is Monday in Cleveland.
NOTES: James instituted his customary postseason social media blackout just before midnight on Friday. He calls it "Zero Dark 23". ... Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue went to an Applebee's Friday night. His order? "I got 18 wings fried hard with the sauce on the side," he said. ... Indiana G Jeff Teague has no limitations from rolling his ankle in Wednesday's regular-season finale. ... This is the second time the Cavaliers and Pacers have met in the postseason. Indiana knocked Cleveland from the 1998 playoffs, in the first round. ... The Pacers were bounced by James from the 2013 and 2014 Eastern finals when he was a member of the Miami Heat.