Sunday, May 18 at 3:30 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 107, Heat 96, Game 1
Scott Agness | May 18, 2014
Seeing “MIAMI” on the opposing team’s jersey brought out the best in the Pacers on Sunday afternoon, just as it typically does when they face off against the two-time defending champions. This rematch was what they had wanted all season, ever since the Heat ended their season in seven games last year.
The Pacers had one of their finest offensive performances of their season, shooting better than 51 percent and scoring a playoff-high 107 points in a 107-96 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Pacers followed coach Frank Vogel’s message to set the tone early. They hit first, were the aggressors, and were on the attack all night. George Hill, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the first quarter, helped the team to a 7-0 start in a game in which they led the entire way. The Pacers were sizzling-hot from outside, draining 5-of-6 first-quarter attempts and they lead 30-24 after the first 12 minutes.
Lance Stephenson was the point man for Indiana in the second. Playing the entire quarter, half of it with bench players, he tallied 10 points in a variety of ways. His layup before the first half gave the Pacers a 10-point halftime lead.
The Pacers got to the foul line often on Sunday, including 17 attempts in the third quarter alone. That’s two more tries than the Heat had all game. Indiana used a 14-4 run, capped off by a 3-pointer from Stephenson, to go ahead by 18. Paul George had 10 in the period, including a pull-up jumper that answered an 8-0 spurt by the Heat.
Indiana maintained its double-digit lead for all but 19 seconds of the final period. Miami’s defense had no answer for Indiana and never seriously threatened in the game. Afterwards, Heat forward LeBron James said he felt they had a lot of breakdowns and far too many mistakes.
While the Heat had just two starters in double figures, Dywane Wade and James, the Pacers’ starting five proudly contribute at least 15 points each. It’s just the second time in 14 postseason games that they all reached double figures. The Pacers are best when they are balanced and every guy is contributing.
Winning Game 1 was something the Pacers had failed to do in their last two series. Against the Heat, where homecourt advantage is huge, it was pivotal for the Pacers to come out on top. After the win, they remained level-headed in the locker room, understanding that it’s just one win. They still have to win three more against this elite team to move on to the NBA Finals.
The best-of-seven series continues on Tuesday, with every game the rest of the series slated to tip-off at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Inside the Numbers
Six Pacers players in total, the starters and C.J. Watson, finished in double figures. Paul George scored 18 of his team-high 24 points in the second half. He was 7-for-8 at the foul line and assisted on seven baskets. David West had 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, and seven rebounds. Watson was solid in 18 minutes off the bench, accounting for 11 points and four rebounds.
Roy Hibbert scored nine of his 19 points at the free throw line and he pulled down nine rebounds. The Pacers are 6-0 this postseason when he finishes in double figures.
Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 27 points. With 25 points and 10 rebounds, LeBron James registered his second double-double this postseason.
The Heat outscored the Pacers 52-38 in the paint and 21-6 in transition.
Entering the game, the Heat had made at least eight 3-point field goals in 12 consecutive games. The Pacers held them to 26 percent shooting (6-of-23) beyond the arc.
Indiana’s 107 points is the most Miami has allowed this postseason (10 games). It’s just the second time in 14 playoff meetings over the last three seasons that they’ve topped 100.
“It’s a good start to the series, but it’s just a good start. That’s all it is.” – Frank Vogel
“We’re just being aggressive off the bounce, trying to attack, force help and then share it. It’s a pretty simple plan. It’s not always easiest to execute, but I thought our guys executed pretty well offensively tonight.” – Frank Vogel on their offensive efficiency
“I thought it kept everybody on their toes because anybody could have scored at any point in time in the later half of the game. At some point, we’re all going to have double-digit points and that when we start playing our best.” – Roy Hibbert on the balanced scoring
“This is a game we needed, and we couldn’t let this one go. We had a past of dropping Game 1s in this playoff run, and that would have been a huge setback against this team.” – Paul George
“We played with a great energy tonight. That’s been an area where we lacked this postseason (and) I thought we brought that tonight. We brought a toughness. We brought an edge. We brought an aggression.” – Paul George on the difference in the game
“I just thought our resolve to play our style of ball was where it needed to be and I thought we didn’t back down from their pressure. We know they’re going to pressure and blitz and be aggressive on the ball. … I just thought we handled it.” – David West
“They drew the first blood, and we got to come and figure it out. We are a confident team. We feel that we can win here. We feel we have to play a lot better on the defensive end of the floor to be able to do that.” – Dwyane Wade
Stat of the Game
The Pacers outscored the Heat by nine points at the free throw line, hitting 14 more (29-of-37) than the Heat (10-of-15) attempted.
- When these teams get together, the home team has won 13 of the last 15 meetings, including nine straight.
- Mario Chalmers received a Flagrant-1 foul in the third quarter for a hard shove on C.J. Watson in the third quarter.
- Evan Turner, who had strep throat, was inactive and not in the building.
- In the stands: Coach Chuck Pagano, Ahmad Bradshaw and Matt Hasselbeck of the Colts, IU basketball coach Tom Crean, along with former Pacers Rik Smits, Derrick McKey, Haywoode Workman, George McGinnis, Mel Daniels, and Jalen Rose and Mark Jackson for ESPN.
Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals: Tue., May 20 vs Miami – 8:30 p.m. ET
Limited tickets remain for Tuesday's Game 2 against the Miami Heat. Find Tickets »