Friday, April 11, 2014 at 7:30 PM ET at American Airlines Arena
Game Rewind: Pacers 86, Heat 98
Scott Agness | April 11, 2014
Indiana was in Miami Friday night, looking for improved play and to grab full control of the No. 1 seed. Following an effective first period, the Pacers became flustered by Miami’s aggressiveness and failed to find a flow for the much of the rest of the night of the night.
The Heat (54-25) expanded their three-point halftime lead to 19 less than five minutes into the second half by scoring 16 straight points, which, as Pacers (54-26) coach Frank Vogel said postgame, “was too much to overcome.” LeBron James exploded for 36 points to lead the Dwyane Wade-less Heat to a 98-86 victory.
The Pacers’ starters should have been fresh heading into Friday’s game in Miami, as they were held out of Wednesday’s game and off the basketball floor for roughly 72 hours. Early on, there was great movement and offensive action. The Pacers were whipping the ball around, which kept the Heat chasing.
Meanwhile, LeBron James was locked from the tip. He was responsible for 10 of Miami’s first 12 points and had 17 at the break. The Pacers shot 56 percent in the first quarter, and were in front 25-23 after the first 12 minutes, with David West contributing 10 points.
From then on, Miami’s pressure bothered the Pacers. Indiana committed seven turnovers in the second quarter and allowed eight second-chance points off of five Miami offensive rebounds (the Heat had five rebounds total in the first quarter). The Pacers trailed the Heat 45-42 at the break.
The Heat broke the game open with a 20-2 run, including 16 straight, to start the third quarter. It wasn’t until Luis Scola's layup at the six-minute mark that the Pacers made a field goal. There were far too many “turnovers for touchdowns,” as Vogel likes to put it — easy transition baskets off of turnovers. Miami, a team that thrives best in the open court, scored 11 fastbreak points in the period and led by 14.
The Pacers used a 13-0 run, which spanned the end of the third and start of the fourth, to draw within nine points. But after Miami then called timeout, Pacers reserve Evan Turner expressed his displeasure with an official and received a technical foul. From there, the Heat scored nine straight points and rolled to the win.
Indiana’s key player in this matchup is Roy Hibbert, and he produced very little on Friday night. Hibbert had five points in 34 minutes, and his lone rebound came with 2:19 remaining. The Pacers expect and need more out of their 7-foot-2 center who is the anchor of their defense. Also of note, point guard George Hill failed to attempt a shot and managed just four assists (to two turnovers). Again, they need more.
The season series was a split, 2-2, with both teams winning on their home floor. Miami has taken a half-game lead in the standings (one game ahead in the loss column). Miami has three games left, while the Pacers have two.
Inside the Numbers
Five Pacers finished the night in double figures, with Paul George scoring a team-high 22 points. David West was the most effective Pacers player offensively – 18 points and eight rebounds – but his night was cut short as he was disqualified with six fouls. Luis Scola and C.J. Watson added 12 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
Outside of James’ game-high 36 points (12 of which were tallied at the free throw line), Mario Chalmers finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and five assists for Miami. Udonis Haslem, who missed the last two games due to a stomach virus, was effective inside. He had 11 points and nine rebounds, including four on the offensive end.
Indiana lost the “effort” categories. They were outscored by 18 points in the paint and grabbed nine fewer rebounds. The Heat recorded 18 fastbreak points, and 16 second-chance points.
Miami was the more aggressive team and, in turn, attempted nine more free throws.
“The pressure was extraordinary, played a good basketball game and took good technical shots for themselves. We were assertive and shot the ball pretty well. We took care of it in the second half, but having 10 turnovers in the second half cost us the third quarter. It was too much for us to overcome.” -Frank Vogel
“We have to get more from him and break their defense as well as box them out. We have to get him to make his shots.” – Frank Vogel on Roy Hibbert
“They imposed their will as far as bringing pressure. We had the right mindset of movement and sharing the ball. We just didn’t complete the passes tonight. This team [Miami] always does a strong job of loading up strong side; forcing the ball to really be thrown to the weak side. Sometimes, it’s just tough to make that play.” – Paul George
“We stalled out in the third. Just didn’t make enough plays to stay in it. We know we can’t turn the ball over against them, which we did.” – David West
“We got to take care of the ball, don’t make no turnovers because they capitalized off of turnovers and they made every shot every time we turned it over. We got to stay sharp with the ball.” – Lance Stephenson
Stat of the Game
Indiana’s 16 turnovers, nine of which came on steals, led to 20 points for Miami.
- The Heat have won the last four meetings with the Pacers in Miami.
- Neither Dwyane Wade (hamstring) nor Lawrence North product Greg Oden (knee) has played since the two teams' last meeting on March 26.
The Pacers return home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder in their final home game of the regular season on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. Game Preview »