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Arizona in the NBA Playoffs: Andre Iguodala, Heat beat T.J. McConnell, Pacers in series opener

andre-iguodala-miami-heat-arizona-wildcats-tj-mcconnell-solomon-hill-indiana-pacers-nba-playoffs Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

(Editor’s note: With Pac-12 sports gone until January, we will be recapping every NBA playoff game that includes a former Arizona Wildcat, along with some social media reaction.)

Six former Arizona Wildcats have made the 2020 NBA Playoffs, and three of them are part of the first-round series between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat that began Tuesday. With one on each team, this series guarantees that at least one ex-UA star will make it to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The early edge goes to Solomon Hill and Andre Iguodala, whose Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Pacers and T.J. McConnell 113-101.

Iguodala, a former NBA Finals MVP appearing in his 146th career playoff game, had 4 points—all on dunks—and a rebound in 25 minutes off the bench in his postseason debut with the Heat. Hill, who was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies in February along with Iguodala, did not play.

The Heat, who outscored Indiana 32-21 in the fourth quarter, were led by Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, who had 28 and 24 points, respectively.

McConnell, playing his first playoff game with the Pacers after 19 the previous two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, had 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 13 minutes. He was part of an Indiana bench that scored 35 points, helping partially offset the loss of Victor Oladipo, who suffered an eye injury early and did not return.

Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren had 22 apiece for Indiana.

What’s next?

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is set for Thursday at 10 a.m. MST, with ESPN set to air the contest.

Also Thursday (3 p.m. MST, ESPN) is Game 2 of the Orlando Magic/Milwaukee Bucks series, with eighth-seeded Orlando holding a 1-0 lead after shocking the top-seeded Bucks 122-110 on Tuesday. Aaron Gordon missed that game with a strained hamstring and his status for Thursday is uncertain.

And Wednesday (10:30 a.m. MST, NBATV) will see Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Stanley Johnson and the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors look to go up 2-0 on the Brooklyn Nets.

Reminder: all NBA playoff games will take place in the bubble in Orlando.

What they’re saying about Arizona’s guys on social media