Game Rewind: Pacers 91, Heat 77, Game 6
Saturday, June 1st, 2013 at 8:30 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 91, Heat 77, Game 6
Scott Agness | June 1, 2013
In what was the franchise’s biggest game in more than a decade, the Pacers came to play – it just took them a half. They poured it on in the third, outscoring the Miami Heat 29-15 to take a 13-point lead into the final period. With 5:53 to play, LeBron James finished off a layup in transition, part of a 10-2 run that pulled the Heat within four. Paul George then buried a deep 3-pointer to put the Pacers back in control for good.
Following a 91-77 victory Indiana’s next game – Game 7 in Miami on Monday – now becomes its biggest in recent history and all eyes will be glued the conclusion of what has been a spectacular Eastern Conference Finals series.
For a team that was up against the wall needing to win to keep the series alive, the Pacers didn’t open the game with the necessary urgency. Despite outscoring the Heat 14-2 in the paint, the Pacers still missed on multiple chances at the rim that often come back to bite. Fortunately for the Blue and Gold, they didn’t. The opening stanza was tight, consisting of eight lead changes and three ties. Miami hit all but one outside shot (6-of-7), missing on the final attempt as the buzzer sounded, but they held on to a two-point edge.
Sam Young and George Hill connected on consecutive 3-pointers to key a 10-0 charge, giving the Pacers their largest lead of the half: six. Again, they made one too many passes didn’t convert in the restricted area. While LeBron James caught a breather on the bench, the Heat retaliated with an 11-2 run. He had 14 at the break, including a dunk in transition to keep the Heat in front, 40-39. The Pacers’ bench contributed little and were outscored 16-3 in the first two quarters.
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The third quarter was reminiscent of Game 5, only this time favoring the Pacers, who came out of the locker room with a renewed focus and aggression. They didn’t need a motivational halftime speech because they understood what was at stake. Out of the locker room, they opened up a double-digit lead via a 14-2 run, including 12 straight. They forced six Heat turnovers – more than the defending champions committed in total in Game 3 – and pounded them in the paint 16-0. Despite a poor final 36 seconds to the third, the Pacers entered a big fourth quarter with a 13-point lead.
As the Pacers felt the excitement of the building, they raised the pace and gave the ball away, leading to points in transition for the Heat. The Heat took advantage and went on a 10-2 run to crunch once what was a 17-point Pacers lead down to four. That’s when Mr. Consistent, David West stepped in, like he had for the team when they needed it all season. While fighting through a temperature about 100 degrees, West scored eight of his 11 points in the fourth. The Pacers scored nine unanswered points and Paul George, who did a great job of breaking down the defense, hit an outside shot to spark the finish.
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Indiana’s inside game was huge as was their defense, which led the league all season. They held the Heat to 77 points, tying their season-low for a game – which also came in a loss to the Pacers at the Fieldhouse.
All season the Pacers believed they matched up well with and could beat the Heat. The series is now tied at 3-3, and they’re now just 48 minutes away for their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2000.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George tallied 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting, a new playoff career high. George Hill scored 16 points and dished out a team-high six assists.
Roy Hibbert recorded his seventh double-double of the playoffs. He scored 24 points, his fifth straight 20-point game, and grabbed 11 rebounds.
LeBron James led the Heat in scoring, as he has all series, with 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists. He didn’t get much help. Guards Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade each contributed 10 and Norris Cole added nine.
Heat big men Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh finished with a combined five points (1-of-10 field goals), six rebounds and four turnovers.
With exactly a 50 percent mark tonight, the Pacers are now 5-0 in the playoffs when shooting 50 percent or better.
Behind the arc, Miami went 10-for-18 (55.6 percent). Inside: 16-for-54 (29.6 percent).
Although the Pacers did turn the ball over 21 times, they also forced 14 turnovers leading to 19 points.
“Roy is playing the best basketball of his career right now. He's leading us, and he's a big reason why we are where we are.” – Frank Vogel on Roy Hibbert
“He's learning from David West in terms of exhibiting his will. Just his will and determination to be care-free about what his individual numbers look like, but just to do whatever it takes to win a basketball game. Whether that's take a charge or get a steal or block a shot or get a defensive rebound, make a big shot, to make extra passes. He's just one of the most complete players in the game, and just exhibited his will tonight.” – Frank Vogel on Paul George
“We knew they were going to make a run. [Miami], they're deadly offensively. They can really put points up. That's just us staying together, being poised, and just rallying.” – Paul George on the team’s run after Miami cut it to four
“I wasn’t 100 percent, but I had to play. We’ve come too far for me to not play. I’m not feeling good now although this win helps. I’m sure I will be better tomorrow and I’ll be ready for Monday.” – David West
“All across the board, they just flat-out beat us. In every facet of the game, they outclasses us that quarter.” – Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on what when wrong in the third quarter
Stat of the Game
The inside game has been the key to success for the Pacers. They outscored the Heat 44-22 in the paint and were +20 on the glass, leading to 14 second chance points.
- The Pacers are 8-1 at the Fieldhouse this postseason, and undefeated when there’s a Gold Out, like tonight.
- LeBron James and Miami assistant coach David Fizdale received technical fouls in the fourth quarter. Lance Stephenson was given one in the first.
- Entering Saturday night’s game, the Pacers had lost seven consecutive Game 6s when they trailed 3-2.
- Notables in the crowd: Rapper Lil’ Wayne, Mike Epps, George McGinnis, Colts coach Chuck Pagano, and former Colts center Jeff Saturday.
- Former Brooklyn Dodger great and Anderson, Indiana native, Carl Erskine performed the national anthem on his harmonica.
- Miami’s Chris Andersen served his one-game suspension for shoving Tyler Hansbrough during an altercation in Game 5.
The decisive Game 7 will be on Monday in Miami at 8:30 PM EST.
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