Prior to the start of the 2018 NBA playoffs, many experts around the league felt as though the Indiana Pacers were a pushover. Despite an incredibly successful regular season that saw them grab a surprising fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, fans couldn’t get past the low expectations this team had prior to the season.
To make matters worse, Indiana would be facing off against The King and the king of playoff basketball: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Through three games of this first-round matchup, though, it is Indiana that has looked like royalty against James and his teammates.
This low-scoring series has seen each team average fewer than 100 points per game, which is almost unheard of in today’s three-point heavy landscape. With offense hard to come by, it is even more amazing that the Pacers were able to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit in game three to grab the series lead at two games to one.
Late James heroics and fancy three-point shooting weren’t enough to hold off the Pacers’ comeback as Indiana held Cleveland to just 33 total points in the second half. Compare that to the first half of the same game where the Cavs poured in 57, including 31 in the first quarter alone.
Game four will be Sunday night, April 22, at 8:30 PM Eastern in Indiana. The Pacers can take a commanding lead in the series by defending their home court.