Update: Heat level series against Pacers
The Indiana Pacers talked all year about the importance of home-court advantage in the playoffs, and while the Pacers haven't been great at Bankers Life Fieldhouse throughout the postseason, they were superb in a Game 1 beating of the two-time champion Miami Heat. Indiana will look to enjoy a repeat performance in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
The home team got the crowd behind them early in Game 1, catching fire from three and running out to a quick 10-point advantage. The much-maligned Indiana offense was in early-season form, and they never let up throughout the entire game. Every time the Heat made a run, the Pacers had an answer. Indiana shot 51.5 percent for the game and scored 107 points, the team's highest output this postseason.
The Pacers got balanced scoring from throughout the starting lineup. Paul George led the way with 24 points, while Roy Hibbert and David West had their way down low with 19 points apiece. Hibbert made hay at the line, knocking down 9-of-13 free throws. Lance Stephenson added 17 points and eight assists, doing an excellent job running the second unit and taking over the game at times in the second quarter.
Dwyane Wade had 27 points and LeBron James had 25, but Chris Bosh was all out of sorts. Bosh finished with just nine points and two rebounds, missing all five of his three-point attempts in the process. Bosh also wasn't much of a factor on the defensive end, which helped allow Hibbert and West to go off. The entire Heat defense was off-kilter, with James committing numerous defensive errors that led to easy baskets.
On the injury front, Evan Turner is expected to return to the Pacers' lineup after missing Game 1 with strep throat. Whether that's a good or bad thing for Indiana remains to be seen. Turner has offered very little in these playoffs, and the Pacers have performed far worse when he has been on the court.
Game time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Radio: ESPN Radio, 1070 The Fan, 104.3FM/790AM The Ticket