Monday, May 26 at 8:30 PM ET at American Airlines Arena
Game Preview: Pacers at Heat, Game 4
Scott Agness | May 25, 2014 at 1:37 a.m.
Indiana finds itself desperately needing a win in Game 4 as the Eastern Conference Finals continue in Miami Monday evening. The Miami Heat have won consecutive games for a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series.
The Pacers had a chance to knock the Heat out early in Game 3, on top for the entire first quarter and by as many as 14 points. Instead of stepping on their throats, the Pacers regrettably gave up a 9-2 run to end the period. They later moved out in front by 15, at which point Miami elevated their intensity, picking up full court, trapping the ball-handlers, and having crisp rotations defensively. The Pacers, on the other hand, may have become too comfortable with the early lead and it cost them in the end.
After the Pacers scored 24 points in the paint over the first 24 minutes, the Heat gave up just 14 the rest of the game. Part of that was on the defense, and much of it was on the Pacers going away from it. The Pacers managed their turnovers in the first two games, with 12 and 11, respectively, but 19 on Saturday gave the Heat too many opportunities to score on the run.
Somehow, Indiana needs to find ways to cause havoc on the defensive end. The Heat have shot better than 50 percent in each of the first three games, including 54.4 percent in Game 3. Much of that is due to the efficiency of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but they’ve also had a bench guy step up each night. Saturday it was Ray Allen (4-for-5 from outside, 16 points).
The Pacers have played their best ball of the postseason when they’re in similar circumstances: Down in a series with their backs against the wall and most people counting them out.
The bullet points for their success include keeping turnovers down, getting a strong game out of Paul George at both ends, containing Wade, having an inside presence all game long and staying out of foul trouble. With a win, the Pacers would earn back homecourt advantage and even up the series as it moves back to Indianapolis.
“A ton. It's very early in the series. They came back. They took care of their home court. We've got to come out and try to get Game 4.” – Frank Vogel on his team’s resiliency
“Every game is a must win. We are going to leave here after Game 4 hopefully with a win. We just got to focus on playing stronger and smarter.” – Roy Hibbert
- The Heat have won five straight games over the Pacers at home, where they are 6-0 during these playoffs.
- Miami’s Dwyane Wade has hit at least nine field goals in all three games in the series and is shooting 62 percent from the field.
May 24: The Miami Heat were stuck in mud in the first quarter, scoring just four points in the first nine minutes. They would recover from that, and overcome a 15-point deficit to move in front of the series 2-1 with a 99-87 victory over Indiana. The Pacers admittedly got too comfortable with their early lead and then sharpshooter Ray Allen provided the dagger in the form of four 3-pointers in the final quarter.
Paul George, who suffered a concussion late in Game 2, was cleared and led the team in scoring with 17 points despite spending more time than he’d like on the bench because of foul trouble. David West scored 16 and Lance Stephenson posted a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds). LeBron James scored a game-high 26 points and Dwyane Wade contributed 23.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: ESPN – Mike Breen (play-by-play), Jeff Van Gundy (analyst), Mark Jackson (analyst) Doris Burke (analyst)
NOTE: FOX Sports Indiana will air a postgame show immediately following the conclusion of Game 2, hosted by Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner, and Brooke Olzendam./>
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)
ESPN Radio: Marc Kestecher (play-by-play), Jon Barry (analyst) />