Let me start by saying both teams opened the game playing horrible basketball. Indiana caught fire and shot a team best 9-18 from the field to close the 1st quarter with a slight edge over the Miami Heat. Paul George’s 13 points in the first quarter gave me the impression that he would have a huge game as the Pacers headed into the second quarter.
Moving on to the 2nd quarter, the game got a bit more interesting when Chris Anderson delivered a cheap shot followed by a shove to Tyler Hansbrough. Chris Anderson was hit with both a flagrant-1 foul and a technical foul. The Heat managed to close the 2nd quarter with a short run but continued to be outplayed by the Pacers. Turnovers and poor execution by the Indiana Pacers we’re the only reason the Heat managed to keep the game within five points going into half-time.
The first two quarters belonged to the Indiana Pacers, their bench provided solid minutes and continued to make offensive and defensive rebounding opportunities difficult for the Heat. The Miami Heat appeared to be uncomfortable and out of rhythm the entire first half, they were in desperate need of a spark off the bench, unfortunately they got zilch from the reserves.
Udonis Haslem and Lebron James lead the charge in the 3rd quarter as Miami responded with an
offensive barrage fueled from the Indiana Pacers turnovers and ill-advised fouls. Lebron
James carried the team on his shoulders as Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade watched from the sideline.
Coach Erik Spo’s defensive strategy to double team Hibbert in conjunction with David West
picking up quick fouls helped shift the momentum back to the Heat as they closed the 3rd quarter with a 70-57 lead.
The Pacers opened the 4th quarter with a quick 5-0 run that closed the gap within single digits but the Pacers quickly ran out of gas as Miami countered back, stretching the lead back to double digits. Pacers guard Lance Stephenson struggled from the field the entire game while the Indiana Pacers continued to play as if they were beaten down in a bar fight.
The player of the game award goes to Lebron James, his effectiveness on both ends of the court were
ultimately the top factors in Miami coming away with the win. Someone from the Pacers will
have to step up and become the leader otherwise the Pacers have a strong chance of losing
this series 4-2. The Miami Heat will head back to Indiana for a pivotal game 6.