Kyle Freeland’s left heel throbbed after being hit by a liner.
The pain actually helped him bear down and make some of his best pitches.
“I was thinking more about my heel than my mechanics,” Freeland said.
San Diego lefty Eric Lauer (0-1) had a rough outing in his major league debut. He allowed seven runs, six earned, over three innings.
“Like I said to him on the mound when I took the ball from him, `There’s going to be a lot of really good days ahead. You’re going to remember this because you’re going to come back from this one and have a lot of really good days,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “Definitely not the debut I know he was looking for, but humble beginnings are a good place to start from.”
One consolation: Lauer picked up his first big league hit on a bloop single.
“It kind of hurt my hand a little bit but I’ll take it,” Lauer said.
With its season at stake, Indiana played hard, aggressive and tough.
And it showed with a record-breaking victory margin.
Kevin Love hurt his left wrist on a hard fall midway through the second quarter and wound up scoring just seven points while shooting 3 of 10 from the field.
James took a shot, too, cutting the side of his left eye when he ran into Thaddeus Young’s elbow on a drive late in the first half. No foul was called and James returned with a bandage protecting his face.
But with a relaxed Oladipo figuring out how to defeat the Cavs’ double teams, he rediscovered his shooting touch. Oladipo finished with 13 rebounds, 10 assists and was 11 of 19 from the field and 6 of 8 on 3s to keep the Pacers in charge most of the game.
After the Pacers erased a 22-17 deficit with a 12-2 run, the Cavs never led again.
“We just got hot,” said Paul, who had 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the third quarter and 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting in the game. “Guys started making shots. We talked going into the game about being aggressive, and I think we all just tried to do that.”
Houston, which led by one point at halftime, opened the second half with an 11-0 run as Harden and Paul combined for all the scoring. The Rockets led by double digits the rest of the game, putting the Timberwolves on the brink of elimination as the series returns to Houston.
“Obviously everybody will look at the 50 points that we scored in the quarter, but it was our defense,” Paul said. “We finally started getting them to take tough shots, we were getting rebounds and we’re tough in transition. You’ve got James coming downhill, myself and the way we’ve got the court spaced with shooters is big. That really turned it up for us.”
The sharpshooter is still listed as questionable for Game 1 on Saturday.