Miami wins series 4-2
|Game 1: Sunday, May 18th|
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|Game 2: Tuesday, May 20th|
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|Game 3: Saturday, May 24th|
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|Game 4: Monday, May 26th|
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|Game 5: Wednesday, May 28th|
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|Game 6: Friday, May 30th|
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8:30 PM ET, May 20, 2014
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
When Miami got into trouble, the All-Star duo bailed out the Heat. Again.
James scored the first six points in a decisive 12-2 run and combined with Wade for Miami's final 20 points in an 87-83 victory over the Indiana Pacers that left the Eastern Conference finals tied at a game apiece.
"That's why they're the hundred million dollar guys," teammate Norris Cole said. "They're unstoppable. They make the game easy for everyone else when they're in attack mode."
That's exactly how the money guys played during the final 12 minutes.
Wade, who had 13 points in the Heat's 41-point first half, scored his final 10 in the fourth. James, who finished with 22 points, had 12 in the fourth. Together they helped Miami avoid falling into a 2-0 hole for the first time since the first round of the 2010 playoffs.
Now the series shifts back to Miami for Game 3 on Saturday and Game 4 on Monday.
This one had a different feel compared to a couple of Miami's important games in the 2013 postseason.
A year ago in Game 7 at Miami, the Heat's money players overwhelmed Indiana 99-76. Then, after losing Game 1 in the NBA Finals to San Antonio, James, Wade and Chris Bosh helped Miami storm back for a 19-point win.
On Tuesday, the Pacers were in a strong position midway through the fourth before James and Wade helped Miami seize the home-court advantage Indiana so desperately wanted for this series.
Miami has won 11 straight games following a playoff loss.
"It's not going to be pretty. Not in the Eastern Conference," James said. "It's never pretty basketball in the Eastern Conference. It's about who can sustain runs. You know, who can get defensive stops? Who can not turn the ball over and who can get great shots? I think we did that in the fourth."
At times, the rough-and-tumble night took on the aura of a football game, especially late.
When George and Wade collided chasing a loose ball, both came up grimacing. Wade held his left knee. George also grabbed at his knee, then said after the game that he had blurred vision and had briefly blacked out.
Another time, James crashed hard to the floor when David West was called for a flagrant foul 1 in the fourth quarter, which was changed to a common foul following a replay review. There were hard picks, tight defense, and James and Wade back in their old groove.
SportsNation: Heat even series
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The Pacers expected all of it in this bout. They just couldn't finish it off.
"We were winning the whole night," guard George Hill said. "We controlled the whole game until the last couple minutes."
But two days after allowing the Pacers to score 107 points, Indiana's highest total of the postseason, Miami held Indiana to nine points over a 10-minute stretch in the first half and closed it out by allowing just 10 points over the final 7:19.
"Today it was just about how bad we wanted it," Wade said. "It wasn't about X's and O's. It wasn't a perfect game by no stretch of the imagination. We kept digging down deep, and we got back to Miami Heat basketball."
Even the Heat acknowledged they were in trouble Tuesday after Indiana used a 10-2 third-quarter run to retake a 47-45 lead and then extended the margin to 63-56 with 2:07 left in the third quarter.
James closed out the quarter by finding Bosh and Cole for open 3-pointers to make it 63-62.
George hit a 29-footer to make it 73-69 with 7:19 left. But James and Wade stepped up again.
James hit a 3 to make it a one-point game, and after Roy Hibbert made a 6-foot hook shot, James scored six straight to start the decisive 12-2 run that sealed the win.
"We have no idea we're doing that until after the game," James said. "We're just going to make the right play for our team. Tonight was one of those nights."
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra started Udonis Haslem instead of Shane Battier. Center Greg Oden again was inactive. ... George was just 1-of-11 from the field in the first half. ... There were 21 lead changes and seven ties after having none of either in Game 1. ... Miami residents Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya, both Indy 500 champions, attended the game and waved towels.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 20: Fans write messages on a sign prior to Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of...(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will need to share this for coming alive in the final quarter when Miami needed them most, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively, on collective 9-for-12 shooting.
LVP: Paul George's defense on LeBron early was solid, but his 1-for-11 shooting in the first half kept Indiana from capitalizing on a lethargic start by Miami. Then, in the final five minutes he made poor decision after poor decision on defense. Getting kneed in the head by Wade probably had something to do with it.
Defining moment: The game was tight through most of the fourth quarter, but with 4:19 left, James hit a free throw to draw the Heat even with the Pacers. That was the beginning of a 10-0 run led by James and Wade from which Indiana could not recover.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined to shoot 9-of-12 in the fourth quarter, scoring 22 points, two more than Pacers had as a team. - James had 24 touches in the fourth quarter of Game 2 after averaging 13 touches in the first three quarters of the game. James scored or assisted on 17 of the Heat's 25 fourth-quarter points. The 24 touches were tied for his most in a fourth quarter this postseason. - Wade was 5-of-5 from the field in the fourth quarter of his field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, with four of those attempts coming inside the paint. Only four of Wade's 11 attempts in the first three quarter were inside the paint. - James and Wade combined to go 5-of-7 with 12 points in clutch time (last 5 minutes, score within five). The Pacers shot 0-of-3 in clutch time as a team Tuesday with no points.
The Heat were much more sound against the Pacers' pick-and-roll offense in Game 2 compared to Game 1. They forced twice as many turnovers on Indy's pick-and-roll in Game 2 than in the series opener.[+]
Pacers Pick-and-Roll Offense This Series
With Lance Stephenson fined $5,000 by NBA for flopping, it is worth noting that he was 1 of 6 players cited TWICE for flopping during the regular season, joining Corey Brewer, Mario Chalmers, James Harden, Brandon Jennings and P.J. Tucker. That was tied for the most in the NBA this season. He received one warning and one fine.
The Heat were able to convert on drives in the second half Tuesday, finishing when the driver kept the ball (4-6 FG) and making open shots when the driver passed it (5-6 FG). In the first six quarters of the series, the Heat struggled to finish their drives, making 8-of-25 attempts on such plays. LeBron James helped key the turnaround for the Heat. James looked to pass off his drives in the second half, picking up four assists on his five drives. James had passed on one of his drives in the series entering the second half.[+]
Heat Offense on Drives vs Pacers This Postseason
In addition to slowing the pick-and-roll, the Heat got big contributions from Chris Andersen on the defensive end of the floor. They outscored the Pacers by 25 points in 29 minutes with Andersen on the court, holding the Pacers to 29.3% from the floor, including 3-of-12 on shots attempted inside 5 feet.[+]
Heat with Chris Andersen On/Off Court in Game 2
LeBron James had at least 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in a playoff game for the 23rd time in the last four postseasons on Tuesday. Since James arrived in Miami, that's 12 more such games than the next closest player, Russell Westbrook.[+]
Paul George went 1 of 11 in the 1st half Tuesday against the Heat. That's tied for George's worst shooting performance in a half (minimum 10 FGA). He's gone 1 of 11 twice before, most recently on Feb. 7 against the Trail Blazers.
Sunday's offensive outburst against the Heat marked the 3rd time that the Pacers have had 6 players in double figures under Frank Vogel in the playoffs. Each time it was in Game 1 of that particular series. Indiana had a combined total of 7 players in double figures in the two Game 2s following those Game 1 performances.
The Heat have not lost the first two games of a playoff series since 2010. Their streak of 14 consecutive playoff series without falling behind 2-0 is the fourth-longest for any team in a best-of-7 series in postseason history (ELIAS).[+]
Most Consecutive Best-of-7 Series Without Trailing 2-0 - NBA History
The Heat drove to the basket 10 times in the first quarter after doing so 21 times in all of Game 1. However, the Heat shot 2 of 7 on their first quarter drives.
If the Heat choose to get Chris Andersen and Chris Bosh on the court together for more size, it's a combination that has worked in the past against the Pacers. Over the last 2 seasons, including playoffs, the Heat have outscored the Pacers by 25 points in 80 minutes with the duo on the court together, while getting outscored by 9 points with 1 or both of them off the court.[+]
Heat vs Pacers Last 2 Seasons (Inc. Playoffs)
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