Indiana Pacers (28-19) 102
Miami Heat (29-14) 89
Tell me this was “just another” regular season meeting, and I’ll tell you this one means a little more. It is played in the regular season, but I know that the Heat wanted to put away the Pacers and Jon Barry said at the top of the broadcast he hadn’t seen a Heat team so focused. So once again, just another regular season meeting.
Lebron James looked to be on top of his game as he was much more aggressive getting to the basket. He didn’t settle for that many jump shots, and Paul George had to do all he could to defend him. Lebron James ends up with his 28 points and 6 rebounds. But he shot the ball much better this time around, which is the scary part. He goes 9-17 from the field and 9-11 from the free throw line. George had much more work to do on James, and wasn’t to hold his own on the offensive side, but the Pacers did have someone step up it and get some points.
David West, who’s been such a work horse all season, really came through in this game. Putting together 30 points on 12-15, even at one point hitting 10 straight baskets for himself. He was great in the paint, and really looked to take advantage there. I thought with his ability and his size, taking it to the basket would have been the ideal situation for the Pacers.
All this Pacers team really stepped up. It was one of those team efforts that saw them put together those runs to separate themselves. They cracked down the defense in that second quarter and put a run of 13-0 to get control of the lead. The Heat never tied the game or got as close as single digits after that.
Bodies were flying. Guys were being aggressive. Technical fouls were being called. Just another regular season meeting at the beginning of February? Doesn’t sound like that to me. The Pacers showed this wanted this game, and now this is a great catalyst for the next couple of games that are coming up. The Pacers will look to get another win against Chicago on Monday in the rescheduled game. Then look for some revenge against a Hawks team that seems to have their number. Traveling to Philly for a date with the Sixers doesn’t seem as daunting as those first two games, but it will be on the rare back to back to back. Three more wins, and this team is right there near the top of the Eastern Conference. Time to get this Blue and Gold train rolling.