In George Hill’s mind, the hip is great.

In reality, the hip hurts.

“If you think about it, your mind starts playing tricks on you,” Hill said after Sunday’s 107-90 Game 1 win over Atlanta. “So when I go out there, I just try and think I’m at 100 percent. I try and block it all out.”

Yet it’s there, the same nagging pain that’s trailed him throughout this stretch run, creeping up in games at the most inopportune times.

It did so again Sunday. A nasty collision with Hawks point guard Jeff Teague late in the first quarter sent Hill, and his tender left hip, straight to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse floor.

Down for a moment, Hill rose to his feet. He grimaced. He played on.

And no one played better in the first half of Sunday’s game than Hill. Despite the scary collision, he hit his first five shots and led all scorers with 15 at the break.

He finished 7-for-10 from the floor for 18 points. He was so good at times, you wouldn’t know he was hurt.

“George Hill is a fighter,” Pacers reserve Gerald Green said. “He’s been dealing with that it seems like all season. But he knows we’re in the most important part of the season. Nothing’s stopping him from being out there.”

“He doesn’t let it affect his game at all,” Hill’s backup, D.J. Augustin, said. “It looks like there’s nothing wrong with him.”

Hill has blocked out the pain since suffering the injury in a March 23 loss to Chicago. He sat out the next game but returned for the stretch run, acknowledging at the time it was something he’d simply have to deal with.