This was the third consecutive tight matchup between the Heat and the Pacers. Like the previous matchup in Indianapolis, the Heat weren’t able to come away with the win, losing 84-83. The loss drops the Heat to 48-22 on the season, and two games behind Indianapolis in the loss column for best record in the East.
For the Heat, LeBron James led the way with a game-high 38 points, to go along with eight rebounds and five assists. Dwyane Wade finished with 15 points and four rebounds. Chris Bosh added eight points.
For the Pacers, Paul George finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Roy Hibbert scored 21 points. Lance Stephenson finished with 15 points.
This was the slugfest we’d expected from these two teams, who don’t like each other. Tough, physical and hard fought, this game was tight from the opening tip and stayed that way throughout. The Pacers held the lead after the first quarter (23-17), but a strong second quarter from the Heat gave them a one-point lead (45-44) at the half. The Heat were able to extend that lead by four heading into the fourth quarter (78-73), but the Pacers held the Heat to only 15 points in the fourth quarter to come away with the win.
This isn’t a game that the Heat should look at in disgust, as the Pacers are certainly a formidable opponent. The game was there for the taking, they just happened to come up short.