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2014 NBA Playoffs: Pacers Beat Heat In Game One 107-96

Eastern Conference Finals: Miami Heat 96 – Indiana Pacers 107
The Indiana Pacers have made it clear that no matter what has happened over the last two months, their top priority is to beat the Miami Heat in order to advance to the NBA Finals. With their 107-96 win in Game One, they are certainly on the right path to do just that.
The Heat have yet to be tested during this playoff period. They swept their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup against the Bobcats and they only surrendered one game to the Brooklyn Nets in the Conference Semifinals. For the first time this postseason, they started a series on the road and now are facing a 0-1 deficit.
The Pacers made it a point to spread the floor all night long, a plan they executed well with help from all of their starting players. Each player scored in double digits, and CJ Watson also came off the bench with 11. The Pacers were led by Paul George, who finished with 24 points and seven assists. Roy Hibbert got things off on the right foot, as he scored 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. David West was right there as well, also putting in 19. Lance Stephenson scored 17 and George Hill had 15 of his own. Production has been sporadic on behalf of the Pacers in recent months, something that wasn’t the case on Sunday night. They spread the ball around well and were able to continually find the open man on the court. They also outrebounded the Heat, 38-29.
LeBron James has continually been the driving force for the Heat. On Sunday, James had 25 points and 10 rebounds, while also dishing out five assists. However, James was not the leading scorer in Game One, as Dwyane Wade led the team with 27. Other than James and Wade, no other starter scored in double digits. However, Chris Anderson and Ray Allen came off the bench with 14 and 12, respectively.
The win on Sunday was the Pacers first Game One victory this postseason. For a team that emphasized the importance of a home-court advantage all season long, they looked to not be taking advantage of it. That changed on Sunday when they led from tip off to the closing buzzer, with the support of their fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse right behind them. The Pacers were able to connect on six of their first seven 3-point shots, which had the Heat trying to catch up throughout the remainder of the game. It certainly is a different look from Miami as they play from behind, something we aren’t accustomed to see as of late.
In the five games that these two teams have played this season, neither team has surrendered a loss on their home court. That is good news for the Pacers, who will host Game Two on Tuesday night. The Heat still remain favorites to win the NBA Championship at 11/10, while the Pacers are at 10/1. However, if they can keep up the trend of home-court dominance, this could quickly change in the coming days. You can rely on sportspicks.com before Game Two on Tuesday, as well as through the remainder of the series.
The Pacers are an even further shot to sweep the Heat, sitting at 30/1 odds of that happening. And since Indiana got off on the right foot with a Game One win, we should be in for an exciting series moving forward. Indiana proved that the Heat are beatable, so we’ll see how Miami fires back to ensure they don’t fall into an 0-2 hole.