Indiana Pacers come up short in Game 1 against Cleveland

Indiana Pacers guard/forward Paul George scored 29 points during a 109-108 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, adding five rebounds, seven assists, one steal and six 3-pointers in 41 minutes.

In the Western Conference, No. 1 Golden State will open against No. 8 Portland, No. 2 San Antonio faces No. 7 Memphis, No. 3 Houston gets No. 6 Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz will meet in the last quarterfinal. Mike Conley was the only other Grizzlies player in double figures, finishing with 13. The Spurs added the first nine points of the fourth quarter to compile 93-64 lead.

After Frye hit a big 3-pointer, the spurt was capped by Irving twice scrapping on the floor to finally get a steal against IN big man Kevin Seraphin, then feeding James for a dunk that caused the crowd to go bonkers.

The defending National Basketball Association champion Cleveland Cavaliers began defense of their title on Saturday with a 109-108 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Kevin Love finished with 17 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting from the field, four rebounds and two blocks while Tristan Thompson had eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds (six offensive). Ibaka scored 10 points in the first and DeRozan had 10 in the second, going 6 for 6 from the free-throw line. The Cavs were just 14 of 27, the kind of performance that often comes back to bite a team - and almost did.

"CJ had a pretty decent look", Nate McMillan said.

"Offensively, we got a little stagnant and started playing a little bit of isolation, which we're very good at", James said.

"The playoffs are about adjustments and what you can do better", Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said.

After falling being 30-25 at the end of the first quarter, San Antonio went on a 59-34 run to establish control and take an 84-64 bubble entering the final 12 minutes of play. They knew Paul George wanted to beat them one-on-one, so they doubled him, with LeBron charging in to help. He did it all in Game 1 but in fell just short of pulling off the win. So if the Pacers get another chance, he better not miss it.

It was much more comfortable for the Spurs, who eased past the Memphis Grizzlies 111-82.

It all comes down to Monday's Game 2. The two teams were heading into the playoffs in seemingly opposite directions; in rattled off 5 straight wins to clinch a berth whereas the defending champs had suffered 4 consecutive losses.

After a foul, IN inbounded with 10 seconds left and tried to run a play for star Paul George.

INJURY UPDATE: The Grizzlies don't expect defensive stopper Tony Allen (strained right calf) to play in the series.

Then there's this little nugget of information that made the rounds on last night's and this morning's web: In his still-burgeoning career, George is 0-for-15 on go-ahead shots with under 20 seconds left in a game. James, who hasn't lost a first-round game since 2012, registered 14 points and eight assists.