The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

May 25, 2013

Pacers steal Game 2 from Heat

MIAMI — David West punched two passes from LeBron James away in the final minute, then punched the air.

He had plenty of reason to celebrate.

The Eastern Conference finals are tied, and home-court advantage now belongs to West and the Indiana Pacers.

Roy Hibbert scored a postseason career-high 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, West broke up two passes by James for huge turnovers, and the Pacers evened the East title series at a game apiece with a 97-93 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 2 on Friday night.

"We haven't done anything yet," Hibbert said. "We haven't closed the series out. We won one game. A lot of us feel we should be up 2-0."

Paul George scored 22 points, George Hill added 18 and West finished with 13 for the Pacers, who handed the Heat just their fourth loss in their last 50 games, closed the game on a 13-5 run — and denied one of the game's best playmakers in James twice in the final moments to finish it off.

"There's only like one person that's more scarier than that," Hill said, speaking of James. "And that's, you know, God."

The series resumes with Game 3 on Sunday night in Indianapolis.

"It's one of the best basketball games I've ever been a part of," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "It wasn't about LeBron making mistakes down the stretch. He played one of the best basketball games I've ever seen anybody play. We were just able to make a couple plays late in the game."

More specifically, West made a couple plays late in the game.

"These are two close, competitive games that can go either way," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We had our opportunities. Enough opportunities."

With Indiana up 95-93, West intercepted a pass that James was throwing to Ray Allen with 43 seconds left. Indiana didn't cash in that mistake, instead turning the ball over with a shot-clock violation.

So on the next Miami trip, West denied James — who led all scorers with 36 points — again.

James drove to the right block, spun and tried passing out toward the perimeter. West got his right hand on that pass, knocking it off-course and into the hands of Hill, then extended his hand skyward.

The Pacers — just as they did in the second-round series last year — knew they were winning Game 2 in Miami. Hill made two free throws with 8.3 seconds left to clinch it, and just like that, the series was tied.

Game 1, Miami won it with James coming through at the end.

Game 2, the Pacers simply took away the MVP's opportunity.

"We've been able to maintain our composure throughout the year," West said. "That's helped us throughout these playoffs and especially in environments like these."

The Heat got 17 points from Chris Bosh and 14 from Dwyane Wade. The Heat led 88-84 in the fourth quarter, only to let the lead, the game and the home-court edge slip away, and James had almost an expressionless look afterward.

"Nothing broke down," Wade said. "He's going to be hard on himself. He saw guys open, but West was able to get his arms out there at the last moment."

Lance Stephenson scored 10 for the Pacers.

The Heat trailed for virtually all of the game's first 30 minutes, then tied the game three times in the third quarter — but Indiana always had a response. When the game was tied at 60, the Pacers scored seven of the next 10 points. Tied at 67, George quickly had a layup to put the Pacers back on top. Tied at 69, George struck again, this time with a jumper.

With 5.1 seconds left in the third, George drove the lane and finished a highlight-reel dunk over Miami's Chris Andersen while getting fouled, the free throw putting the Pacers up by five. James connected on a long 3-pointer to close the quarter, then he and George exchanged a few words afterward and slapped each other's hand as if to say, "here we go."

Sure enough, the show was just getting started.

"We had our chance tonight," Bosh said.

Hibbert was creating one problem after another for Miami, so James took it upon himself to challenge him in the fourth. And with about 8 minutes left, he swatted a putback attempt away from the 7-foot-2 Indiana center, starting a play that ended with Chalmers scoring at the other end to give Miami an 85-84 lead.

On the next possession, James tied up a rebound with Hibbert, then won the ensuing jump ball. Not long afterward, Bosh made a 3-pointer and Miami's lead was up to 88-84 — its biggest of the night.

"We just didn't finish the game like we're capable of," Spoelstra said.

Indiana scored the next five points to reclaim the lead. James' three-point play with 3:32 left put the Heat on top 91-89, and Hibbert answered that with a jump hook over the reigning MVP to tie the game for the 10th time.

Frantic to the finish, again. And this time it went Indiana's way.

"Heck of a basketball game, wasn't it?" Vogel asked afterward.

If there was any remaining lament from losing Game 1 on the final play of overtime, the Pacers didn't show it. They trailed for all of 15 seconds in the first half, and after neither team held a lead of more than seven in the series opener, Indiana found itself leading by 10 late in the first quarter and by 13 with a minute to go before intermission.

Hibbert was either unguarded or unguardable, making six of his eight shots in the first two quarters and getting to the line on the way to a 19-point half. West, Hill and George combined for 27 more before the break, and when Hibbert scored with 1:25 left the Pacers' lead was 53-40.

The Heat needed less than a minute to erase more than half of that deficit.

James made a pair of free throws with 59.1 seconds left, Chalmers had a layup and Mike Miller — who hadn't taken a shot since May 8, but checked in with 3:23 remaining in the half after Allen and Shane Battier continued to struggle from the outside — connected on a 3-pointer as time expired, pulling Miami within 53-47 at the break.

And when Indiana went up nine early in the third quarter, Miami responded with another burst, this time an 11-2 run highlighted by a spectacular reverse dunk by James and capped by two baskets from Wade, the last of which knotted the game at 60-all.

By then, it was clear.

Just like Game 1, this one wouldn't be decided until the end.

NOTES: South Florida resident Jozy Altidore of the U.S. men's national soccer team was among those in attendance, two days before he's set to report to Cleveland and begin training camp for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Other celebs in the crowd included newly retired football star and Miami Hurricanes great Ray Lewis, Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and Rosie O'Donnell. ... The Pacers were called for four technicals (one a defensive 3-second) in a 4-minute span of the second quarter. ... Indiana reserve Sam Young sprained his left ankle in the third quarter. ... Indiana was not planning to fly home after the game, instead staying in Miami one more night and avoiding getting back to Indianapolis around 4 a.m. or even later.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0419 - Muller final - 077 Arabians make history in Muller thriller Pendleton Heights beat Anderson 3-2 to become the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament's first repeat champion.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not fill field

    With less than two weeks to go, the 38th 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not have a full field for the first time in 12 years.

    April 20, 2014

  • Lady Ravens refusing to lose

    The Anderson University softball team swept Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Transylvania University on Saturday at Raven Field to finish a perfect 8-0 at home this season.

    April 19, 2014

  • Arabians win third straight County softball title It was a scenario Pendleton Heights had seen before. The game was scoreless late into the championship game of the Madison County softball tournament.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bulldogs rally past Eagles at Muller Kallen Brooks went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, including a walk-off double in the eighth inning, and Lapel rallied to defeat rival Frankton 3-2 on Saturday at Memorial Field.

    April 19, 2014

  • Eagles stop Lions to claim third place Frankton's Tia Sharp drove in three runs including the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth as the Eagles defeated Liberty Christian 11-1 here Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • PH pushes across only run in 7th

    After Frankton's Kyleigh Garner and Pendleton Heights' Bailey Benefiel battled one another to a standstill from the pitcher's circle for six innings, it took one mistake in the seventh to decide the outcome.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT - HB0419 - County track - 116 Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Arabians clip Eagles, go for Muller repeat The competitive feeling at Pendleton Height’s Bill Stoudt Field quickly faded Friday during the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Arabians once again took advantage of the opposing team’s generosity as Frankton pitchers gave up six walks and hit five batters, and Pendleton Heights took the 14-3 victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Arabians win County net title with 5-0 shutout

    An intriguing battle awaited and there was no indication what the team scores would be. Considering the Frankton Eagles had home court advantage, the Pendleton Heights Lady Arabians came hungry for the Madison County tennis title. Pendleton aced a 5-0 win and came away with the crown.

    April 18, 2014