On TNT Sunday, analyst Charles Barkley unloaded on the Pacers, calling them “flat wussies” for their performance in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks.
Indiana, which spent the whole season working to get home-court advantage in the playoffs, wasted no time in giving it right back with a dismal third quarter Saturday night. Paul George finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds while Hawks player - and Indianapolis native - Jeff Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points in the Pacers' 101-93 loss.
"I'm an Indiana fan because of everything [they] stand for, Barkley said, but to come out and play like flat wussies -- and I'm only calling y'all 'wussies' because I don't want to get the FCC pissed off at me... they're embarrassing Coach Bogel and the great Larry Bird."
The Pacers' second-half collapse was the Hawks' redemption, ending an eight-game road losing streak in the playoffs, which dated to May 2011.
Game 2 is Tuesday in Indianapolis.
The Associated Press contributed to portions of this report.