Watch out NBA, Pacer Power is real. Not many people can say they saw this coming, but after the loss of Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat look like they are in trouble. The Indiana Pacers grasped a 2-1 series lead, after a very impressive, dominating 94-75 Game 3 win. Roy Hibbert, finally took advantage of the Heat and their lack of height in the paint. He had 19 points on 9-16 shooting, and snatched a game-high 18 rebounds. The Pacers, as a team, owned the glass tonight. They out rebounded the Heat, 52-36.
With Chris Bosh out with an abdominal strain, the Heat seem to have no inside presence or answer for Roy Hibbert or David West. They also didn’t get much help from “The Big 2” tonight. Dwyane Wade had an absolutely atrocious game, scoring five points on 2-13 shooting. To be honest, he looked old and tired out there. At one point, his frustration boiled over during a timeout. Cameras caught him in a shouting match with head coach Erik Spoelstra, before being refrained by teammates. LeBron James had 22 points, but 16 of them came in the 1st half. He flamed out after halftime, and only made 2 field goals the rest of the night. Mario Chalmers, surprisingly, played the star tonight for the Heat. He was relentless with his penetration, and scored a team-high 25 points. He attempted 15 shots and only missed 5 of them to be exact, that’s how good he was tonight. But it wasn’t enough for the Bosh-less Heat.
Every Pacers starter scored in double-digits, except for Paul George. He fell short by one point, recording 9. Danny Granger had another rough night from the field, but hit some big 3’s and had 17 for the game. George Hill had a very efficient game, chipping in 20 points on 6-8 shooting. David West shot only 38% on the night (14 points), but his presence inside gave the Heat problems all night. As usual, it was another physical and emotional Eastern Conference playoff game. LeBron had a breakaway and Danny Granger snagged him by the jersey. James looked to throw an elbow at Granger and a pushing match ensued. Danny Granger was called for a technical foul, and James missed the free throw which made the Pacers’ arena erupt. Pacers guard, Lance Stephenson, who hasn’t seen the court entering Game 3, was seen making a chocking gesture after LeBron missed the technical free throw. Watch it here
With his team down 20 late in the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called it quits, and pulled out first Wade, then James, who quickly removed his headband as he got to the bench. LeBron seemed to be trying to motivate his team in the final minutes of a losing battle, showing signs of encouragement and words that looked like he was telling them to move on from this disaster.
When the final horn sounded, the NBA’s MVP quickly exited the floor. Instead of putting the roman-numeral 16 on his mouthpiece, maybe he should just change it to a big fat TWO. Because that’s how many losses the Heat have left in them before the Pacers pull off the impossible. A pivotal Game 4, is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, at a rowdy Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Heat are going to have to pull together quickly if they want to survive this gold swagger.
– Teams up 2-1 win series 82% of the time
– Dwyane Wade made his 95th career playoff apperance
– LeBron James made his 100th career playoff appearance.
– The Heat scored a season-low 12 points in the 3rd quarter.
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