Game 6, Thursday, May 24 in Indianapolis, 8:00 PM (ESPN)
Countdown to Tipoff: Game 6 – Pacers (6-4) vs. Heat (7-3)
When Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra said before Game 4 the series had become about "survival," little did anyone know he meant it literally. Both teams could be shorthanded for Game 6, with Indiana facing the possibility of missing leading scorer Danny Granger, who sprained his left ankle in the 115-83 blowout loss in Game 5 Tuesday. Though Granger insisted his foot would have to fall off to keep him from trying to play, the team's leading postseason scorer is likely to be at significantly less than 100 percent. David West also was injured Tuesday, sitting out the fourth quarter with a sprained knee but should be able to play Thursday.
Already without Chris Bosh (strained abdominal muscle), Miami will be without backup big men Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman. Haslem was suspended one game by the NBA for clubbing Tyler Hansbrough to the floor in the second quarter of Game 5, while Pittman was suspended three games for throwing a flying elbow to the throat of Lance Stephenson in the closing seconds. Haslem has been a significant contributor in the last two Miami wins, totaling 24 points and 10 rebounds and making 10 of 12 shots. Without those two, Spoelstra's only post play in reserve is 39-year-old Juwan Howard unless he opts to use Eddy Curry, inactive the first five games.
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There have been two ironclad indicators in this series: rebounding and the third period. The team that has won the rebounding battle has won each game. Miami is plus-23 on the boards in its three victories, while the Pacers are plus-26 in their two wins. Miami has an 85-55 scoring advantage in the third period of its wins, holding Indiana to .309 shooting. The Pacers have a 52-26 scoring edge in the third period of their two wins, holding the Heat to .206 shooting.
"We've just got to have other guys step up. If you have any injury, other guys have to step up. Paul George has got great length to play the whole game at the three, Dahntay (Jones) and Leandro (Barbosa) and maybe George Hill will have to guard Wade and we'll just piece it together. … I'll probably prepare for both. He's day-to-day and we'll prepare a plan without him and a plan with him." – Pacers Coach Frank Vogel on the possibility of playing without Granger
"Game 6 is going to be physical. We've got to understand this team has a lot of pride. Their crowd is going to come out with a lot of energy so we've got to withstand their first attack and still be standing. I think we're ready for it but we'll see." – Wade
For the Pacers, Danny Granger (sprained left ankle), David West (sprained left knee) and Lance Stephenson (collarbone) are day-to-day. For the Heat, Chris Bosh (abdominal strain) is out indefinitely.
The 8:00 PM game will be telecast on ESPN. The radio broadcast will air on WIBC 93 FM, featuring Mark Boyle and Bobby "Slick" Leonard. Immediately after the game, turn to Fox Sports Indiana for an expanded live postgame show hosted by Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner and Brooke Olzendam.
A limited number of tickets for Game 6 (Round 2, Home Game 3) are being held for NBA Playoffs requirements. If those tickets are not utilized by the league and/or league partners, they will be released for sale to the general public as they become available. Fans should visit Pacers.com to check on ticket availability. Fans can still guarantee tickets for Game 6 by placing a deposit on a 2012-13 season ticket plan (full, half or 11-game). Fans interested in this option should call (317) 917-2827 or visit PacersMVP.com for more information. A limited number of Krieg DeVault Club level suites are available for rental for Game 6. Suites can accommodate up to 20 guests. For more information please call (317) 917-2827 or visit PacersMVP.com/playoffsuite.
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