Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Heat 114, Game 3
Sunday, May 26th, 2013 at 8:30 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game: IND 96, MIA 114, Game 3
Scott Agness | May 26, 2013
When the Miami Heat play to their full capabilities, they’re an awfully tough team to cover. Unstoppable, really. The Pacers found this out Sunday night when the Heat's high-level talent and championship experience was on full display at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miami throttled Indiana in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 114-96.
Miami has taken a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and they have regained home-court advantage.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wanted his team to commit to being aggressive and disruptive early. They made numerous adjustments from the outset, with the spacing of their bigs catching the Pacers off guard. And when role players like Udonis Haslem are knocking down open jumpers, the Heat are that much more dangerous. Spoelstra got what he was looking for and more, as Miami had a near-perfect first half, in which they shot 63 percent and scored a franchise playoff record 70 points in the half.
Haslem, who averaged less than four points per game in the regular season, made his first six shots and had 13 points at the break. In the first two games, Pacers center Roy Hibbert was able to leave him open, but because he was hitting tonight, Hibbert not only had to contest Haslem’s shots, but he also had to account for players rolling in the lane. As a result, Chris Bosh got some good looks early and scored 10 points in the firstquarter , including two shots from deep. Paul George ended the first with two poor turnovers that helped the Heat take a four-point lead into the second.
The Heat opened the second on an 8-2 run to open up a double-digit cushion. After getting his teammates involved early, LeBron James had his way in the second. While being defended one-on-one in the post by George because, again, the Pacers had to account for every one on the floor, he tallied 12 of his game-high 22 points in the period compared to just two by George. David West scored eight of his team-high 21 points in quarter and despite Indiana hitting half its shots Miami held a 70-56 halftime lead.
After dropping behind by 16, George Hill sparked an 11-2 run with a 3-pointer and later a layup plus the free throw. Lance Stephenson added another free throw to pull the Pacers within seven points midway through the third. The Heat closed the quarter on a 13-5 spurt to swell their lead to 15 with one quarter to play – and without James even scoring a point that period. At this point, all five Miami starters were in double figures and Chris Andersen had made all four of his field goals.
With Shane Battier and Ray Allen hitting from outside as they did in the early minutes of the fourth, the Heat are that much better. That’s why Frank Vogel often refers to the Heat as the Big Four, counting their outside shooting as the fourth weapon in their arsenal. Allen’s triple less than three minutes into the final quarter gave Miami a 21-point lead - the largest of the night. The Pacers cut the deficit down to 14 with over seven minutes to play but got no closer.
Miami’s win is their first in Indianapolis this season season. They were beaten twice in the regular season, with both games decided by double digits.
Inside the Numbers
Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 20 points and 17 rebounds, the latter of which tied his career-high. Hibbert was just 4-of-12 from the field, scoring 12 of his 20 points at the foul line.
With 21 points and 10 rebounds, David West recorded his fourth double-double this postseason and George Hill scored 19 points.
All five of Miami’s starters scored in double-figures, led by 22 points from the four-time MVP, LeBron James. Dwyane Wade added 18 points along with eight assists.
Chris “Birdman” Andersen is 13-for-13 in three games this series, including 4-for-4 tonight.
Miami had only five turnovers, just one shy of its franchise playoff low and the same amount that Paul George had by himself.
The Pacers attempted 44 free throws and outscored the Heat at the line 30-24. The Heat won the game in the paint, 52-36.
In a best-of-seven playoff series that’s tied at one game apiece, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to with the series 77 percent of the time (151-45) … but if you remember, that was not the case last year when these two teams squared off in the second round.
“If you’re not perfect guarding them, they’ll do what they did to us tonight … You have to credit Miami for playing a great basketball game.”
“Is he going to shoot 8-for-9 every night? I don’t know, we’ll see. If he does, it’s probably going to be a long series for us. We have to make adjustments for sure.” – Frank Vogel on Udonis Haslem
“I think he really was the guy that pushed them, the catalyst for them tonight. Just him hitting those shots really made us have to think on defense who we guard. Do we guard the paint or do we have to go out to the shooters in the corner?” – Roy Hibbert on Udonis Haslem
“We didn't have enough defensive pop to deal with them tonight … I thought we were a step slow. We've been the instigator on defense throughout the year, but tonight we let them set the tone.” – David West
“We made a conscientious effort to have everybody sprint down the court and get their spacing early … In Miami I was cutting to the basket and I was getting swallowed up by their size at the rim. So tonight I spotted up in the corner and I knew I’d get some shots.” – Udonis Haslem
“They really changed a lot of things up. They had it to where our Bigs were spaced out. That allowed them to get easy baskets. They did a good job of just moving their guys around.” – Paul George
Stat of the Game
Udonis Haslem’s 17 points, on 8-of-9 shooting, were the most points that he’s scored in a playoff game since the 2006 Finals.
- The Heat haven’t lost consecutive games since Jan. 10, when they fell at Portland after losing in Indianapolis two nights earlier.
- The Heat have won all five playoff road games by double digits.
- The Shaw family, including daughter Bianca, wore gold shirts with blue writing that said “Ball Don’t Lie,” as a surprise.
- The Pacers have played three times on the same day as the Indianapolis 500 – 1999, 2004, and 2013. Each time, they’ve lost.
- Noteables in the stands: Mike Epps, Jim Harbaugh, Mike Tomlin, Tom Crean, Helio Castronevers, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Arie Luyendyk, Robert Mathis, Pat McAfee, George McGinnis, and Sarah Palin.
- The Pacers have sold out all seven home playoff games (tonight's listed attendance: 18,165).
Game 4 at the Fieldhouse is on Tuesday at 8:30 PM EST.
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