Indiana Leads The Eastern Conference Finals 1-0 After Sunday Night's Game
The matchup everyone has been watching for since the start of the NBA season finally arrived on Sunday evening. Game one showed what the Indiana Pacers had been talking about All season long -- home court advantage.
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"This is just a fun matchup," George said. "It's one that we've been waiting for all year."
For the first time in this year's playoffs, the Pacers won a series opener. And for the first time in their last three playoff battles against the Heat, the Pacers won Game 1.
The Pacers struggled in the first round against a much weaker Atlanta team -- and also couldn't get their team in gear the first game of the series against the Wizards either.
This time around all five Indiana starters and backup C.J. Watson scored in double figures, helping Indiana produce its highest point total of the playoffs.
The Pacers limited the Heat to just four offensive rebounds and 6-of-23 shooting from beyond the arc. LeBron James went 1-of-5 on 3s and shot just two free throws, and Miami fell so far behind so fast, it never even had a chance to tie the score, according to a report by ESPN.
The Pacers know it's just one game out of a potentially long and drawn out 7-game series. The Pacers also know the reason they fought so hard all season long for home court advantage is to give them the edge if it comes down to a 7-game series.
"There's nothing to celebrate. It's not like we won a championship. It's one game," Hill said.
"Yes, it was good, but if we come out and lay an egg on Tuesday, this game doesn't mean anything."
The Miami Heat on the other hand aren't to worried about their first game 1 loss in this year's playoffs. They had only lost one game prior to this in the entire two previous matchups -- going 4-0 in the first round and 4-1 in the second round.
"The game's still so fresh. It's too hard to just say, `Well, we need to do this better in Game 2," James said after the Heat lost for just the second time in 10 playoff games. "We need to evaluate our mistakes and things we did in Game 1 first before I can say what we need to bring to Game 2."
"We've been complacent many times. We just can't get complacent," George said. "We've got to stay humbled off this win and come in with the same mind-set that we have to get another one."