How Indiana Won: The Pacers played with the same intensity and toughness as they did in game 1, only this time they were able to close the game out in the fourth quarter. Indiana held a 2 point lead with less than a minute left, and forced two turnovers from Lebron James that helped seal the win.
The starting five scored 92 of the Pacers’ 97 points, with Roy Hibbert leading the charge. The 7’2 center was out on the floor this time during the final stages of the game, and finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Paul George added 22 points and 6 assists, while George Hill rebounded from a poor game 1 performance with 18 points.
Just like in game 1, the Pacers had the lead for most of the game. James converted on a three-point play with three and a half minutes remaining to give Miami a 91-89 lead. Hibbert tied the game on the next possession, and took the lead a minute later when David West hit a mid-range jump shot.
How Miami Lost: The Heat just didn’t execute in the final minute. On the first turnover, James had the ball at the top of the key and dribbled to the right wing as he used a screen set by Ray Allen. Allen then curled to the top of the key, but James’ pass was deflected by David West and stolen.
Miami was able to force a shot clock violation on the ensuing possession, which set up one more chance. But this time, James drove down to the right block, spun, and jumped to pass the ball out to the perimeter, only to have the ball deflected by West again. Hill made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to four and Miami’s home court advantage is now gone.
While all the focus of James’ performance will be on the turnovers, he still finished with 36 points and 8 rebounds. Chris Bosh scored 17 points and Dwayne Wade scored 14 points, but no other player scored in double digits.
Aside from James and Bosh, who combined to make five three-pointers, only Norris Cole and Mike Miller made a three. The Heat need to get better shooting production out of their perimeter role players. They already have a big hole, with defending HIbbert and West in the low post, and things will look bad in a hurry if this becomes a problem too.
It Was Over When: Miami had one last chance, down 95-93 with under 15 seconds left. James penetrated on the right side, and jumped to pass the ball out to the perimeter. West was able to easily intercept the pass, and Hill’s two free throws closed the win out for the Pacers.
Quote of the Night: “It’s only like one other person that’s more scarier than that, and that’s God.” -George Hill, on guarding LeBron with the game on the line.