Game Rewind: Pacers 102, Heat 103, Game 1

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  • Pacers vs. Heat: Game 1
    LeBron James records a triple-double and hits the game-winner as Miami beats Indiana in an overtime thriller.
  • George's Big Three
    Paul George buries a huge three pointer during Game 1.
  • Press Pass: Frank Vogel
    Pacers head coach Frank Vogel addresses the media after Indiana lose to Miami in overtime in Game 1.
  • Postgame: Roy Hibbert ECF Game 1
    Pacers center Roy Hibbert speaks about sitting out the final sequence of the Pacers' 103-102 overtime loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at 8:30 PM EDT at American Airlines Arena

Game Rewind: Pacers 102, Heat 103, Game 1

Scott Agness | May 23, 2013

Game Rewind

It looked as if the Pacers were going to get their wish: Take Game 1, as they did last series in New York and steal home court advantage. First, Paul George sank a deep 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. He was stellar in the fourth quarter and in extra time, scoring 18 of his team-high 27 points during that stretch. George then sank three foul shots after being hit in the act of shooting to put the Pacers’ up by one with just 2.2 seconds on the clock.

But on the sideline in front of their bench, the Heat inbounded the ball to LeBron James, the four-time MVP. With Roy Hibbert out of the game because the Pacers coaching staff wanted a more mobile lineup on the floor to switch on ball screens, James maneuvered around George from the left elbow to the hoop and laid the ball in just as time expired. James’ game-winner left the Pacers shaking their heads at the thought of ‘what if.’

Miami 103, Indiana 102.

The Pacers were jittery to open the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals, accruing five turnovers by the first timeout. The Heat took their first lead during a 9-2 run as they converted those handovers into points at the rim. David West, who has a favorable matchup this series on the inside against Udonis Haslem, scored 10 of the Pacers’ first 16 points and James was responsible for nine. James surprisingly had two fouls before the first quarter came to an end. With seven turnovers, the Pacers had to be happy to only be down by one.

Indiana’s physical play clearly bothered the Heat. West continued to have his way inside, and had 18 points by halftime. James’ minutes were reduced in the second period because of his two fouls and he was held scoreless in the quarter. The Pacers, who led 43-37 at the break, gave up only two points in transition in the first half, a critical against the explosive Heat. 37 first-half points were a postseason-low for the defending champions.

As the Pacers turned the ball over on three of the their first four possessions out of the locker room, the Heat used a 12-2 burst to go ahead by five, their largest lead of the game. Following Pacers coach Frank Vogel’s timeout, the Pacers averted trouble and responded with a 14-4 run of their own. West had to sit after picking up his fourth foul and Tyler Hansbrough stepped in and gave the team terrific minutes. His eight points and four rebounds in less than six minutes was a big reason why the Pacers led 65-64 after three quarters.

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Knowing the importance of taking Game 1, James went into fifth gear. He attacked the paint and either finished or threw the ball to the open big man as the Pacers’ help slide over. The Heat also took advantage of second opportunities around the rim. With 50.4 seconds left in regulation, West drove the ball into the paint and finished from five feet out to knot the game at 89. Wade quickly answered at the other end with a right-handed layup. Ray Allen, a 17-year veteran and sharpshooter, missed one of two free throws, leaving the door open for the Pacers.

Out of a timeout with 11.9 seconds left, George got the ball and on a broken play, he elevated and connected from 32 feet, which tied the game at 92. Allen missed a rushed 3-pointer in front of the Heat bench, thus the game was headed to extra time, where the Pacers were 2-3 during the regular season.

In overtime, George had a hand in all 10 of the Pacers’ points, scoring eight points and assisting on a Hibbert field goal. Tied at 96 with 2:10 to play, George managed to flip the ball up while being fouled. His three-point play put the Pacers ahead. One minute later, off a second offensive rebound, Chris Bosh’s put-back went in and he made the free throw to even the score at 99.

Instead of attacking with their inside game, the Pacers settled for a mid-range jumper from West, which was no good. Out of a Heat timeout and with Hibbert out of the game, James dribbled around Hill, who defended him after a switch with George, and got an easy layup.

After the Pacers called timeout, Hill recovered the ball after nearly turning it over. He tossed it to Paul George who launched a 3-pointer. His shot was off the mark, but Dwyane Wade got a piece of him and fouled out. In the clutch, George connected on all three free throws to push the Pacers in front, 102-101, with 2.2 seconds on the clock.

The Heat executed out of the huddle and got just the play they wanted. James forced his way around George and had an unimpeded path to the hoop for the game-winner. Vogel opted to sit Hibbert, who he calls “the best rim protector in the league,” for the Heat’s final two buckets and it stung, because James scored at the rim both times. This loss isn’t going to sit well with the Pacers, but they know they must move on because Game 2 is Friday, and it’s almost essential that they return home with the series even at one game each.

Inside the Numbers

Paul George paced the Pacers with 27 points, his eighth time scoring at least 20 points this postseason. David West went 11-of-17 from the field and totaled 26 points, 18 coming in the first half. Roy Hibbert added 19 and Lance Stephenson pulled down 12 rebounds to go his seven points.

Dwyane Wade had 19 points and Chris Bosh contributed 17. The Heat got a big lift from backup center Chris Andersen, who made all seven shots and tallied 16 points.

Though the Pacers won the rebounding battle, 43-38, the Heat were +12 in the paint, outscoring the Pacers 60-48. The Heat also had nine blocks to the Pacers’ two.

Neither the Heat nor the Pacers handled the ball well, turning it over 21 and 20 times, respectively.

The Pacers lost their first game this postseason when they had the edge at halftime. They were previously 8-0.

There were 18 ties and 17 lead changes.

Quoteworthy

“It’s the dilemma that they present. Obviously, with the way it worked out, it would have been better to have Roy in the game but you don’t know. If that happens, maybe Bosh is making a jump shot and we’re all talking about that…I would say we’ll probably have [Hibbert] in next time.” –Frank Vogel on pulling Hibbert on the final two possessions

“I grabbed him after the game and told him to quickly forget about the last play. He’s a third-year player and he’s playing the best player in the world, someone that’s going to go down as arguably one of the best players in the history of the game. He’s playing him toe-to-toe and just competing his tail off.” – Frank Vogel on Paul George

“It’s the dilemma that they present. Obviously, with the way it worked out, it would have been better to have Roy in the game but you don’t know. If that happens, maybe Bosh is making a jump shot and we’re all talking about that…I would say we’ll probably have [Hibbert] in next time.” –Frank Vogel on pulling Hibbert on the final two possessions

“I could see why Coach (Vogel) wanted to take me out. With 2.2 seconds left on the clock they can throw it to (Chris) Bosh and I’m overcommitting in the paint and he can hit the jump-shot. My mentality is always to protect the rim. I wish I was in there, but I have complete faith in Coach’s decisions.” – Roy Hibbert on being out at the end of the contest

“We knew they were going to get the ball to LeBron (James). They just opened the vacuum and he made a heck of a cut and made a play at the end of the game. It caught us off-guard. We thought we were prepared. He just got open and scored.” – David West on the final play

“It’s not a good feeling. Starting with myself, I need to take care of the ball a little bit better and be more aggressive. I think our guys played their tails off and we knew it was going to be a tough game to win. They made plays down the stretch.” – George Hill

“I seen Paul George was a little out of place. So I just took off.I knew I had enough time to do either – I could either get to the rim or I could get one dribble in and get up a jumper or a shot. So I seen him leaning a little bit. Just a quick second. I just took off.” – LeBron James on his game-winning layup

Stat of the Game

LeBron James recorded his ninth career playoff triple-double: 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, to go along with three blocks. He scored Miami’s final two field goals, including his game-winning left-handed layup at the buzzer.

Noteworthy

  • The Heat have won four consecutive playoff games over the Pacers and they are 2-0 in head-to-head meetings this season in Miami.
  • Chris Andersen picked up a technical foul in the first quarter.
  • Mario Chalmers sustained a shoulder injury in the third quarter and did not return.
  • The Pacers wore their alternate gold uniforms.

Up Next

Game 2 in Miami is on Friday at 8:30 PM EST.

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