Indiana (48-34) were aggressive from the jump Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena, leading by as many as 20 points in the first quarter and turning back a second-half charge in opening the series with a 98-80 victory over Cleveland.
Victor Oladipo shot 11 of 19, including six of nine from 3-point range, and scored 32 points to lead the Pacers, who closed out well defensively on the perimeter against the Cavaliers (50-32) and limited them to eight for 34 from 3-point range.
Oladipo also got offensive help from his starting teammates as Myles Turner had 16 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 15. LeBron James recorded his 20th career postseason triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and ten rebounds, but the rest of Cleveland's starting five were a combined ten for 30, including five of 16 from beyond the arc.
Jeff Green, who Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue inserted into the starting lineup late in the regular season to help the team defensively, struggled on the offensive end as he missed all seven of his shots.
While the Cavaliers were down 2-0 in a series as recently as last year's NBA Finals, they have not been down 2-0 while owning home-court advantage since being swept out of the first round of the 1996 postseason in three games by the New York Knicks.