The Indiana Pacers dominated the Miami Heat in game one of the Eastern Conference finals. With a 107-96 victory, Indiana fired the first shot in a series that has been anticipated since last season's game seven finale.
Indiana used a total team effort from the outset on Sunday afternoon. While Paul George led the Pacers with 24 points, it was George Hill that started the series with a bang. He scored 11 of his 15 points in the first quarter, which included three triples.
From the opening tip, Indiana was the more aggressive team and all five starters contributed double figure points. Roy Hibbert and David West used the power game to combine for 38 points. They each had 19. While, Hibbert did the majority of his work from the charity stripe (9-13), West was outstanding from the field. David West finished the game shooting 8-11, and he did a lot of his work against Lebron James.
The Heat used their regular lineup with Shane Battier starting at the small forward position. That left Lebron on West early in the game, and it meant Chris Bosh had to guard Roy Hibbert.
Dwayne Wade had another phenomenal outing with 27 points, while Lebron scored 25. However, Bosh never got comfortable on the offensive end after he missed his first three point attempt. Combined, the 'big three' hit 2-11 from downtown.
Indiana ran out to a 10 point lead at halftime, and they came out of the break strong. Within the first two minutes of the third quarter, the Pacers were approaching the bonus. Their offensive tenacity had Miami on their heels for most of the period until the end.
With two minutes left in the third quarter, Miami found themselves down 81-62, but they made a furious rally to cut the lead. A quick seven point run by Miami cut the lead to 81-70 before Paul George hit a runner in the lane to give the Pacers a 13 point lead.
In the fourth quarter, Miami got no closer than 11 points and that's where the final stood. Indiana won the first three quarters and lost the final stanza by two points. The Pacers never relinquished the lead in the wire to wire victory.
Game two is set for Tuesday night.
Notes: Lance Stephenson scored 17 points and dished out eight assists for Indiana.
Mario Chalmers was called for a flagrant foul and technical after pushing C.J. Watson during into the first row on a drive.
Chris 'Birdman' Anderson scored 14 points off the bench for Miami.