NBA Playoffs: Pacers take Game 2 from Heat, 97-93Posted by Inside Hoops
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…
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…
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…
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…
The Pacers were called for four technicals (one a defensive 3-second) in a 4-minute span of the second quarter.
Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press
According to ESPN.com, “James had two turnovers in the game’s final minute, which is extremely unusual for him. This was the first postseason game in his career in which he had two turnovers in the game’s final 60 seconds. In 125 previous playoff games, James had turned the ball over only seven times in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime. Roy Hibbert was on the court when James drove into the lane and turned the ball over with eight seconds remaining. James has one basket and four turnovers on drives to the basket in which Hibbert is on the floor in these two games. When Hibbert is off the court, James has four baskets (on five shots) and no turnovers on drives to the hoop. James finished with three assists and five turnovers. The last time he had more turnovers than assists in a game was March 27 against the Chicago Bulls, a 101-97 loss that snapped the Heat’s 27-game winning streak.”