MIAMI – Many wondered how the Indiana Pacers would respond after being stunned by a LeBron James buzzer beater in Game 1.
Surprisingly, the Pacers seemed unfazed and even held a 12 point lead in the first quarter before the Miami Heat closed the quarter on a 6-0 run of their own ending the first period – 28-22
As expected, things started to get chippy in the second quarter. Sam Young was called for a technical foul when he slapped the ball away from James after the whistle had blown.
The Pacers bench obviously unsatisfied with the early technical continued to badger official, Scott Forrestor. Brian Shaw, assistant coach of the Pacers, continued arguing with Forrester and he also was called for a technical. Then when Ray Allen missed the technical foul shot, Shaw yelled,
“Ball dont lie! Ball dont lie!”
Chris ‘Birdman’ Anderson, who I believe was the perfect addition this this Miami Heat squad, is still on his own heat streak.– Birdman’s 29-35 from the field this post season,which is a scorching 82% field goal percentage — and he even went 7-for-7 in Game 1.
I’ve been pulling for Mike Miller to get some burn (who’s last FG make was on May 8th v.s. the Bulls), since Shane Battier has been struggling. Battier is shooting only 24% and just 25% from three point land this post season.
With time running out at the end of the first half, Miller connected on a three pointer to close the lead to just six — and Miami went in to the locker room down 53-47.
I was thinking Roy Hibbert would have a big game, especially after whining on Twitter about Battier obvious inadvertent knee to his mid-section.
U can knee or kick me every time u drive 2the rim. Ill be there 2protect the rim. That wasn’t inadvertent. Battier knew what he was doing
— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) May 23, 2013
Cry me a river Hibbert, Battier is class-personified. Battier has never been labeled as a dirty player and always has been thought of as a winner who plays extremely hard on every play.
Dwyane Wade began to heat up after an electrifying fastbreak reverse dunk by LeBron. After scoring a basket on his own, on the very next possession, Wade showed his excellent ball-handling schools, went behind-the-back with the basketball, drove down the lane and assisted to a cutting James.
Vogel quickly called timeout – and just like that, the score was tied 60-60 with 7:09 left in the 3rd quarter. Following the time-out George Hill hit a long three-pointer to claim the lead — then Paul George was the recipient on a half-court lob dunk to extend the lead back to five.
And a few plays later (Going to be painfully honest here), I almost jumped out my seat when Paul George got the step on Lebron, exploded down the lane and slammed it home on the Birdman.
Talk about postuuuuuriiiiiiiiizaaaaaaaation!! Birdman may have lost some of his feathers after that play.
However, LBJ displayed his closing ability yet again, and connected on a long three-pointer to beat the buzzer at the end of the 3rd quarter leaving the score 76-74.
I thought this would be the key turning point of the game — LeBron blocks Hibbert, takes the ball down the court and assists to Mario Chalmers who finished with a up-and-under scoop lay up. The block sparked a 7-0 Miami Heat run, but this time — Indiana didn’t give in. Solid play by veteran David West down the stretch and a costly turnover by LeBron James in the waning seconds of the game, sealed Miami’s fate.
The defending champion Heat find themselves in a deadlock 1-1 series against the Indiana Pacers. No need to panic — I’m still sticking with my prediction – Heat will win this in five.
Indiana had all five starters in double figures. Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 29 points on 67% shooting, while George and West combined for 32 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
James finished with 36 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in 45 minutes.
Dwayne Wade, who started out strong making his first two shots — faded down the stretch, only scoring 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole only combined for nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.
The Pacers also out-rebounded the Heat, 39-32, hammering the frontcourt of Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem and Bosh on the boards.
Game 3 will tip off on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET in Indiana.