Lebron James scoring in the paint where Roy Hibbert was protecting: This is a big part of how James helped will the Heat past the Pacers. A dominating win on the Pacers’ court also handed Indiana their first home playoff loss. On the other hand, the Heat take a 2-1 lead in the series.
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, James said:
“I made a conscious effort to get down in the post tonight, to put pressure on their defense. The coaching staff wanted me to be down there tonight, and my teammates allowed me to do that.”
The Heat out-scored the Pacers in the paint, 56-32, as Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Heat made an adjustment to beat the Pacers at their own game. The team did well to protect the ball as well, keeping the turnovers down to just five in the game.
The Pacers crowd was dressed in checkered flag colors as a tribute to the Indianapolis 500. Unfortunately for the fans, the Pacers look stuck in the slow lane.
David West led the Pacers with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The big guy, Roy Hibbert, had 20 points and 17 rebounds. However, in order to keep up with Miami, the Pacers need more scoring off their bench.
The Heat bench played well, starting with Chris Anderson. The power forward had a near perfect night, shooting 4-for-4 with 9 points in 22 minutes. The only dent in his game was a missed free throw.
Comparing the starting five:
The Heat had 54% FG shooting, while the Pacers shot 39%. Thjat stat alone sums up the 114-96 Heat win.
Heat- James 8-17, 22 points vs Pacers- P.George 8-9, 17 points
Heat- Wade 8-14, 18 points vs Pacers- Stephenson 2-10, 7 points
Heat- Chalmers 4-6, 14 points vs Pacers- Hill 5-10, 19 points
Heat- Bosh 6-10, 15 points vs Pacers- Hibbert 4-12, 20 points
Heat- Haslem 8-9, 17 points vs Pacers- West 8-16, 21 points