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Heat come out flat in Game 1 loss to Pacers

The Indiana Pacers may finally be recapturing their early-season glory.

LeBron James carried his weight, but a balanced Indiana Pacers attack was too much for the Miami Heat to handle in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
LeBron James carried his weight, but a balanced Indiana Pacers attack was too much for the Miami Heat to handle in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With all five starters posting at least 15 points, the Pacers cruised to a 107-96 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Pacers, who looked lost in the season's final weeks and nearly succumbed to the No. 8 seed Atlanta Hawks, jumped out to an early lead on Miami and never looked back. The hot start ignited an enthusiastic Indiana crowd, and Paul George's team-leading 24 points helped keep the Heat at bay.

Heat star LeBron James scored 25 points and led all players with 10 rebounds and three steals. But the small forward, who averaged 10.9 free throw attempts during the regular season, reached the line just twice Sunday. The low tally encapsulated a glaring stat for the game -- as a team, Miami attempted 15 free throws, while the Pacers shot 37 from the charity stripe.

James was assisted by his sidekick, Dwyane Wade, who led all scorers with 27 points. However, no other starter, including Chris Bosh (9 points in 32 minutes), reached double figures in scoring.

LeBron and the Heat will look to even the series Tuesday in Indiana before heading home to Miami for Game 3. To see James' Game 1 in photos, view the slideshow.