After much anticipation and a few choice words between the opposing players it was time for the Eastern play-off final to get underway Sunday, and it was Pacers who were the hungrier side collecting the first victory in the series 107-96 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Frank Vogel's men were heading into this game with redemption on their minds, having lost 4-3 to Miami Heat at the same stage last season, with the Heat going on to win their second consecutive NBA Championship title.
"This is just a fun matchup. It's one that we've been waiting for all year," the 2014 All-Star explained.
During the game George scored 24 points while collecting seven assists, his second highest points scoring total against the Heat this season and a total higher than his 21.7 ppg average this season.
The Heat meanwhile will have to bring themselves back to their usual style as game two will be at Indiana's home once again.
"We need to evaluate our mistakes and things we did in Game 1 first before I can say what we need to bring to Game 2," said James.
The small forward had earlier given what he thought was a motivational speech prior to tip-off in which he distinguished the hatred between the two sides. The 28-year-old then went on to score 25 points in 40 minutes of play.
But in the first quarter it was the home side who got off to the perfect start winning the first period 30-24.
George Hill scored 11 points while George added six to the board. For the Heat meanwhile, James was leading the charge scoring nine points while featuring the full 12 minutes.
The second hardly differed from the first as the Pacers kept up their dominance at home winning the period 25-21.
Lance Stephenson took control of the scoring in this quarter scoring ten points - converting five of his six attempted field goals.
Dwayne Wade took the baton for Miami in the second as the shooting guard scored nine, with the comments made by Stephenson earlier on in the day seeming to push both players to test one another.
Heading in at half-time the Pacers were cruising with a ten point lead at 55-45, as Erik Spoelstra's Heat team needed more than a motivational talk to get them back in this game.
But there was no stopping the Pacers as the third belonged to Vogel's men once more, winning 28-25. George hit ten for the hosts while Roy Hibbert added eight and David West put seven on the board.
The Heat were struggling, and with both Chris Bosh and Ray Allen struggling to get into the game, things were becoming difficult for the visitors as with 12 minutes left to play Spoelstra's men were trailing by 13 points at 83-70.
In the fourth Miami finally won their first quarter of the game, winning the period 26-24.
Wade scoring 13 points while Allen, James, and James Jones all added four.
George scored eight for the Pacers which was enough to see the hosts come away with the first game of the series and take a foothold in the contest heading into game two on Wednesday evening at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
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