Conclusions. Heat 93 Pacers 91.

1

– What a hell of a game.

– The last time the Pacers came to Miami, Lebron James was a man possessed putting up 33 points, 8 rebounds, 13 assists and 2 steals as Miami cruised to victory, 118-83. A performance I personally witnessed.

– Indiana is coming to Miami on a two game losing streak.

– Wade came out very strong and very physical, even playing in the post a bit. He put up eight points on 4/4 shooting in the first 5 minutes.

– Even without a star player, the Pacers are very fun to watch. They are agressive defensively, and very well rounded offensively. They are one player away from contending. It’ll be difficult for them to make a trade before the deadline, but should give serious consideration to spending some money on a quality free agent.

– Miami’s inability to guard the three is killing them this season. Indiana hit 3/4 from downtown in the first quarter.

– Indiana played good old fashioned Hoosiers basketball, playing selfless, smart and protecting the ball well with only one turnover in the first quarter.

– The Pacers dominated the Heat, closing the quarter 26-17, keeping Miami to 38% shooting.

2

– Miami opened an uninspired first quarter with four consecutive turnovers in the second quarter. Everyone participated in the turnover game, with Lebron, Miller, Bosh and Battier all contributing.

– They were 0/4 on 3 point shooting as well.

– The Pacers were up by as many as 12 midway through the second. It was looking fairly dismal.

– Battier and Bosh were in la-la land. They ended the first half with a combined 2-9 shooting (0/3 from downtown) and four turnovers.

– Mike Miller sprained his left ankle, it looked painful. He did not return for the rest of the game.

– Wade was the only sign of life for the Heat as he had 22 of the Heat’s 39 points. He continually proves himself to be the best first half player in the league, leading the league averaging 15.1 first-half points. Even deeper into this is D Wade’s fascinating PER difference between the halves. Wade has an astonishing first half PER of 36.3. Astonishing. Second half? A very ordinary 16.8. Interesting stuff.

– But alas! Defense! The Heat improved rotation and tweaked some matchups and were able to cut the lead to five.

– Is there anything more frustrating than a player missing a technical free throw at home? (Chalmers!)

– Miami ended the period on an 18-5 run and trailed 39-43. The Pacers hit six three points on nine attempts. Miami was 0/5.

3

– It was not Lebron’s day. Indiana did a great job of playing physically with him in transition, fouling him and not allowing him to finish. James seemed frustrated and unable to establish any sense of offensive rhythm.

– The Heat had a 26-14 advantage in the third with points in the paint.

– Joel Anthony had two consecutive field goals. This led to a delusional sense of confidence for Anthony and the Heat as he would go on to miss two more field goals and give up a turnover.

– The third quarter chugged along very slowly.

– Dexter Pittman needs a lot of work. 4 fouls in three minutes.

– The third quarter ended with the Pacers up 61-60.

4

– Spo opened the 4th with a lineup of Cole, James at the 2, Battier, Haslem and Bosh.

– Although the Pacers game plan of being very physical with Lebron did throw off his offensive game, they went a little foul crazy, going into the penalty two minutes into the 4th.

– Lebron and Bosh were borderline awful until about six minutes left in the fourth, then the whole game was thrown into overdrive, everyone awake and alert.

– The end of the period was just wild. Back and forth.

– Lebron took the game over. He shook off any struggles of the previous three and a half quarters and lit up the Pacers on both ends. Steals, dunks, layups, you name it. He had 13 points in the first three quarters and 11 in the fourth.

– The Pacers kept pace, with key layups from Collison and Hibbert and a timely jumper from Granger.

– Clutch? 10 seconds left, Lebron takes the game over, impacting every inch of the court, doing what he does better than anyone else. He buries a three tying the game. Collison then brings the ball up court, James steps up to defend, and is able to draw a jump ball with .3 second remaining in the game.

OT

– The Pacers got off to a quick start, Granger connecting from 20 feet and Hibbert in the post. The Pacers were up by five.

– Clutch? Lebron misses two free throws. Wade missed one. The Pacers are up by three.

– Clutch? Lebron sinks another three.

– Granger missed a three pointer. D Wade hold the ball at the top of the half, clock winding down. American Airlines Arena is on their feet. This was intense.

– Clutch? Wade hits an unbelievable 22 foot jump shot while attempting to draw the foul. He does not get the call, but the Heat take the lead with .1 seconds left and finish the game.

– Simply brilliant stuff. The Heat overcame adversity, especially recent scrutiny over Lebron James’ late game decisions. Tonight the two leaders of the team proved their ability to both come up big in the clutch, and allow the other to shine when need be it. Although initially unexpected, this was a huge game for the Miami Heat.

– The Heat are now 6-1 in games decided by five points or less (last year they were 6-14). They hope to continue the momentum against Orlando and Chicago next week.

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