Miami wins series 4-2 (Game 1 of 6)

Miami wins series 4-2

Game 1: Sunday, May 13th
Game 2: Tuesday, May 15th
Game 3: Thursday, May 17th
Game 4: Sunday, May 20th
Game 5: Tuesday, May 22nd
Game 6: Thursday, May 24th

Pacers 86

(42-24, 19-14 away)

Heat 95

(46-20, 28-5 home)

    Coverage: ABC

    3:30 PM ET, May 13, 2012

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 23 25 22 1686
    MIA 20 22 28 2595

    Top Performers

    Ind: D. West 17 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Mia: L. James 32 Pts, 15 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    LeBron James, Dwyane Wade carry Heat past Pacers as Chris Bosh goes down

    Associated Press

    MIAMI -- LeBron James got his trophy, and then he and Dwyane Wade made sure the Miami Heat got a win in Game 1.

    James scored 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in his first game as a three-time MVP, Wade finished with 29 despite struggling from the floor, and the Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 95-86 to open their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Sunday.

    Chris Bosh scored 13 points for Miami, but left late in the first half with a lower abdominal injury and did not return, with the Heat saying he was scheduled for an MRI to determine the extent of the problem. The Heat outscored Indiana 25-16 in the fourth, with Wade and James combining for 22 of those points.

    Wade and James outscored Indiana 42-38 in the second half.

    "It's a battle and we know, regardless of being at home, being away, who we're playing, what round, it's tough to win in the playoffs and you have to fight for every single possession," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "And that's what it was."

    David West and Roy Hibbert each scored 17 points and combined for 23 rebounds for the Pacers, who got 10 points each from Darren Collison and George Hill.

    "I thought we were just on our heels a little too much," West said.

    Game 2 is Tuesday in Miami.

    The Heat never led by more than two until 9:20 remained in the game, when a layup by James gave Miami a 76-72 edge. Wade added another basket about 30 seconds later, and the margin eventually reached eight when James made two free throws with 7:52 left.

    Back came Indiana, which got within 86-85 on a 3-pointer by Hill with 4:51 left after Miami went cold again. But one big flurry -- capped by a dunk from James in transition and Wade coming from behind to block a shot by Paul George at the rim about a half-minute later -- gave the Heat some breathing room.

    Wade and James scored 20 straight Miami points in the fourth, a string ended by a free throw from Joel Anthony with 1:05 left. After Hibbert missed a jumper on the next Indiana possession, James connected with 31.8 seconds left for a 95-86 Miami lead, and it was soon over.

    "Definitely not our best game," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We didn't shoot it very well. ... It came down to execution in the fourth quarter and you've got to give credit to Miami's defense."

    Wade shot only 8 for 23 from the field, and the Heat missed all six of their attempts from 3-point range -- a first in team playoff history. But the Heat held a 45-38 rebounding edge, and allowed Indiana to make only 11 of 37 shots after halftime.

    Danny Granger shot 1 for 10 for Indiana, scoring only seven points.

    "I don't know if he's going to have a huge offensive series," Vogel said. "When you have to guard the MVP for 38 minutes, it takes a lot out of your offensive game."

    Commissioner David Stern was on hand to present James with his MVP trophy in a pregame ceremony that was capped by the Heat star telling fans how "electricity" was going to be important throughout the playoffs.

    One team came out electrified -- and it wasn't Miami.

    The Pacers trailed for only 56 seconds in the first half, never down by more than a basket. Indiana opened the game with an 11-4 run, held Miami to 37 percent shooting in the first two quarters, and rode the strength of a 19-6 edge in bench scoring to take a 48-42 lead going into halftime -- surviving some foul trouble as well.

    Of the 10 players Vogel used in the first half, seven had at least two fouls, and Hill had three.

    But by then, Miami had a bigger problem to address.

    The Heat announced during halftime that Bosh would not return because of a lower abdominal injury. Bosh shot 6 for 11 in the first half, the last three of his points coming with 1:06 remaining after a dunk while getting fouled by Hibbert. Bosh remained down for a few moments, then got up slowly and made his free throw.

    While going back down to the defensive end, Bosh started limping and grabbing at his midsection. He eventually fell to his knees in pain, and was replaced by Ronny Turiaf with 43.6 seconds left. Bosh was grimacing as he headed to the Heat locker room for evaluation, as his wife covered an anguished look on her face while watching from courtside.

    "It's unfortunate Chris went down," Wade said. "But we told him, 'Be healthy. We got 'em.' "

    Even with Bosh out, things started going Miami's way in the third quarter. The Heat held the Pacers to 31 percent shooting in the period, and Anthony's dunk off an assist from Wade tied the game heading to the fourth at 70-all. And the foul trouble compounded for Indiana early in the third, when Hill ran over Mario Chalmers with 8:26 left.

    Hill was trying to get to the Pacers' bench area to call timeout. Chalmers got in front of him near midcourt, held his ground and referee Scott Foster called Hill for the charge -- his fifth foul, as Vogel argued otherwise. Vogel was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Saturday for comments he made last week about how he believes the Heat flop too much in efforts to get calls from referees.

    "He was just manipulating the refereeing or trying to," Stern said in a televised interview during the game. "I would have fined him much more than our office did. But I tell you what, I think it's a legitimate concern. Some years ago, I told the competition committee that we were going to start fining people for flopping and then suspending. ... It's not a legitimate play in my judgment."

    Game notes

    Wade is appearing in his 18th playoff series with Miami, one more than Alonzo Mourning for the most in Heat franchise history. ... The fans in Miami booed when a foul was given to George in the fourth quarter -- his fifth -- and not assessed to Hibbert. Had the foul been on Hibbert, it would have been his sixth personal. George fouled out about 2 minutes later. ... It was Miami's 13th straight postseason win at home against East opponents.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 86 95
    FGM-FGA 31-77 (.403) 33-81 (.407)
    3PM-3PA 4-17 (.235) 0-6 (.000)
    FTM-FTA 20-28 (.714) 29-38 (.763)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-38 15-45
    Assists 18 16
    Turnovers 15 13
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 3 5
    Fast Break Points 12 18
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 9

    Top Performers

    David West West
    Points: 17
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    LeBron James James
    Points: 32
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1

    Research Notes

    LeBron James became more aggressive in the second half, with his average field goal attempt distance dropping by 5.5 feet from the first half.
    The Heat held the Pacers to 3-of-6 shooting from inside 5 feet in the second half Sunday (8-of-14 in first half). The six attempts are the second-fewest for the Pacers in a half this season. The Heat went 10-of-14 from inside 5 feet in the second half. Miami is 17-2 this season (1-0 this postseason) when it scores 40 or more points inside of 5 feet.
    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade scored or assisted on 48 of the Heat's 53 second-half points in Game 1. Joel Anthony (a put back and a free throw) and Mario Chalmers (two free throws) had the five points that James and Wade were not responsible for.
    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade played 21 minutes together in the second half of Game 1. The Heat outscored the Pacers by 18 during this stretch. It is tied for the best score differential in any postseason half for the Heat with Wade and James on the court together.
    Adding sourcing: Statistical support for this note from In Sunday's 2nd half, LeBron James scored 26 points while Dwyane Wade scored 16. Combined they outscored the Pacers 42-38; it's the 2nd time this season (May 3rd against the Knicks when they outscored them 34-30) that Wade/James have outscored their opponents in the 2nd half of non-OT games.

    ESPN Stats & Information