Tuesday, January 8th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: IND 87, MIA 77
by Scott Agness | January 8, 2013
The Pacers said they still weren’t over last year’s playoff series, where they were up 2-1 on the Miami Heat but dropped the next three games and the series to the eventual NBA Champions. They can say it’s just another game, but it was an emphatic 87-77 victory for the Pacers Tuesday night over the defending NBA Champions.
Matched up against the league’s MVP, 22-year-old Paul George stepped up on the big stage and looked comfortable in the moment. With Danny Granger still out, the spotlight would be on George to not only guard LeBron James, but to be Indiana’s focal point offensively. Finishing with 29 points and 11 rebounds in 44 minutes and limiting James to 22, George wouldn’t go so far as saying that it was his most meaningful performance on the big stage but NBA fans couldn’t help but take notice.
George’s night is a big reason the Pacers won, but not the only one.
Like George, Stephenson had that look in his face and he was part of an early battle going against Dwyane Wade. Stephenson scored seven of the Pacers’ first eight points because of his early aggressiveness. He was hustling after loose balls, getting into the paint and running the fast break. Wade scored 23 in the first half on 8-of-12 shooting, but made just one more shot the rest of the game.
When Indiana turned to their second unit, they carried their weight and more, extending the Pacers’ lead to as many as 10. Gerald Green came off the bench to score all seven of his points in the quarter. Wade and LeBron scored all but three Heat points in the second and tied the game up at 42.
Out of the locker room, the Pacers’ intensity dipped and they fell behind by seven. Following a timeout, they got back to their game plan, showed some fight and mounted a big push. They then buried three triples in a row – two from Lance Stephenson and rare trigger from David West – to open what turned out to be an 18-4 spurt to close the third quarter that put them in front for good.
Entering the final quarter, the Pacers had to prevent a Miami spurt, and they did. Despite not making a basket in the final 4:33 – missing 15 of their final 17 attempts – the Pacers earned a coveted win over the Heat, 87-77.
You can bet the Pacers had Tuesday’s game circled on their calendar ever since the schedule came out. What they didn’t know is that they’d be without Granger and George Hill, who was dehydrated and didn’t play in the fourth quarter. The Pacers handled their .500 opponents last month. Tonight, they stepped up in a big way against the Eastern Conference’s best team.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George (29 points, 11 rebounds) and David West (14 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles. Lance Stephenson contributed 13 points, including a career-high three 3-pointers, and four other Pacers had six or more points.
With George Hill feeling under the weather, D.J. Augustin scored four points, registered eight assists and went without a turnover in 25 minutes.
Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 30 points, 23 of which came in the first half and eight from the foul line. He connected on a season-high four three-pointers. LeBron James had 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven turnovers in the loss.
The Pacers held the Heat, who averaged 103 points per game, to a season-low 77 points.
Miami’s big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were the only three players in double figures and combined to score 66 points. The rest of the Heat totaled 11 points.
Heat guard Ray Allen, who was 0-for-5 from the field, was scoreless for only the second time in his NBA career.
“It’s a regular season game but it’s always a confidence booster to beat a team as good as Miami…This is just one win, we’re happy about it, but nothing more than that.” – Frank Vogel on the win
“That’s what we do. We knew they lacked rebounding so David (West), myself and Ian (Mahinmi) just make sure we try to limit their second shots and try to create extra possessions for ourselves at the other end.” – Roy Hibbert on the rebounding advantage
“Paul George was sensational, carrying us for a large stretch of the game offensively…He’s a young kid, a third-year player, and he’s really blossoming in front of our eyes.” – Frank Vogel on Paul George
“I see him playing with a lot of confidence…The simple fact that Danny Granger is hurt has created the opportunity for him to show what he can do. He’s doing everything…He was a good player last year but we weren’t able to see it because he wasn’t a featured player.” – LeBron James on Paul George
Stat of the Game
The Pacers dominated the glass, outrebounding the Heat 55-36, including 22 offensive rebounds which led to 23 second-chance points.
- Tonight’s win extends the Pacers’ home winning streak to eight in a row.
- Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, and Pat McAfee of the Colts, and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal were among those in the sellout crowd.
Indiana has two more games at home before three-straight on the road. The New York Knicks are the Pacers’ next opponent, in front of a national audience (TNT – 8 PM EST).