Tuesday, May 20 at 8:30 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 83, Heat 87, Game 2
Scott Agness | May 20, 2014
The Pacers had the opportunity to take a 2-0 lead on the Miami Heat in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series. In a back-and-forth clash featuring 21 lead changes and neither team leading by more than eight points – indicative of playoff basketball – Miami’s superstars took over late, as they typically do.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had a hand in every one of Miami’s final 33 points, including all 25 in the final quarter. The Heat used a 13-2 run in the middle of the fourth to turn a four-point hole into a seven-point lead en route to an 87-83 victory Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Midway into the first period, the Pacers used an 11-2 run, capped off by a layup from Paul George, to move in front by eight. They were controlling the boards and containing every Heat player not named Wade, who scored eight of Miami’s 20 first-quarter points. The Heat closed the quarter with an 8-1 spurt to draw within one, 21-20.
Offense was hard to come by for the Pacers in the second quarter. Rasual Butler sank back-to-back 3-pointers in opposite corners but then the Pacers went scoreless over the next five minutes. After George Hill scored a layup to even the contest at 33, the Heat tallied eight unanswered to take their largest lead of the game. Roy Hibbert, who had six points and nine rebounds in the first half, hit a pair of foul shots and then a Lance Stephenson tip-in with 0.1 seconds remaining cut the Heat’s lead to four at the break.
The Pacers got in a groove early in the third quarter, going on a 10-2 run to jump back in front. The always-amped Lance Stephenson ran the show for the team. He scored 10 of his 25 points, which matched his playoff career-high, in the period. He was in the zone, and that was demonstrated when he waved everyone off and then airmailed one in from 28-feet out. Indiana carried a one-point edge into the fourth frame.
Paul George, who hit just one of his first 11 field goals, banged in a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the shot clock expired to put the Pacers up four less than five minutes into the fourth quarter. Their lead would quickly evaporate, however, as LeBron scored nine straight points and keyed a 13-2 run that put the Heat ahead for good.
Stephenson and George Hill hit back-to-back shots from downtown, the latter with 8.8 seconds to play. Wade then turned the ball over, but the Pacers struggled to execute the final play call and didn’t even get a good shot off.
And so, the series is tied at a game apiece as it heads to Miami for Games 3 and 4. The next game, however, isn’t until Saturday. The Pacers, who leaned on all of their starters for at least 34 minutes in Game 2 – three on the floor for more than 40-plus minutes – will appreciate it.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers’ five starters all scored in double figures for the third game this postseason. Lance Stephenson finished with 25 points, a team-high seven assists and six rebounds. Paul George managed 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting. George Hill added 13.
With 12 points and 13 rebounds, Roy Hibbert posted his first double-double since March 21. It was also his first double-digit rebounding total this postseason.
Going a perfect 5-of-5 from the field in the fourth quarter, Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 23 points. LeBron James finished with 22 points (12 in the fourth), seven rebounds and six assists in 43 minutes. Chris Andersen collected 12 rebounds, his highest total this postseason, and scored three points in 29 minutes.
The Pacers pulled down 16 offensive rebounds and scored 17 second-chance points, to the Heat’s eight.
Allowing 87 in this one, the Pacers lost their first game of the postseason when holding their opponent below 90 (7-1). It’s also the first time they lost when leading after three quarters (7-1).
“We played a pretty good basketball game, but we just had a couple of key turnovers and a couple of defensive breakdowns that led to 3s that were just big, big plays.” – Frank Vogel
“He had a spectacular game. There’s no other way to put it. Gives us a big edge. He really delivers and made a lot of big shots and big plays.” – Frank Vogel on Lance Stephenson
“Definitely was in the zone. I just want to win so bad, so I’m doing everything it takes to win. I’m just trying to be aggressive and make something happen.” – Lance Stephenson on his third quarter
“We didn’t close this one the right way. I thought we had a chance to and key turnovers at bad moments got away from us.” – David West
“You have to play perfect to beat this team. We’re capable of that, we just had a bad stretch.” – Roy Hibbert
“I blacked out as soon as it happened and then the whole four or five minutes, however much time was remaining, I was just blurry. My eyes was blurry and I just tried to play through it.” – Paul George on his collision with Dwyane Wade
“We got back to play Miami Heat basketball. We flew around, covered for one another. Even when we made mistakes, we still covered for one another. We allowed them in Game 1 to dictate what our defense did, and that's not us.” – LeBron James
Stat of the Game
Miami made half its shots for the second consecutive game, including 59 percent in the fourth quarter, and limited Indiana to 40 percent shooting.
- Paul George said after the game that he blacked out and had blurry vision in the final minutes after colliding with Wade. While on the court and the bench, George answered all the questions that pertained to the concussion protocol. His only symptom was pain in the back of his head. After the game, he was symptom-free but will undergo further evaluation, all according to Pacers PR.
- The Heat altered their starting lineup, going with Udonis Haslem over Shane Battier.
- The Pacers had won five straight games, including the regular season, over the Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Wins have alternated between these two teams in the last 13 meetings.
- The Heat haven’t lost back-to-back playoff games since the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, a span of 41 games.
- In the stands: 2014 Indy 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter, drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves, Ohio State basketball coach Thad Matta.
Game 3 is on Saturday night in Miami, with tip-off scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.