The Indiana Pacers nearly beat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and you could tell they had a fire in their belly during Game 2. While the Heat showed off their 1-0 series lead, the Pacers came out hard again and took the Heat deep into the fourth quarter and got the outcome in Game 2 they were looking for in Game 1.
After the devastating defeat in Game 1, he Pacers tied the series with a huge 97-93 win over the Heat and will head back to Indiana with a ton of momentum.
There were some who doubted the Heat would be in this game at all, and that couldn’t have been a more foolish assumption. Comparisons were drawn to the Heat’s series against the Chicago Bulls and how it turned out after Chicago won the first game and attempted to jam the two toether to form some sort of theory based on nothing.
Indiana was staring those critics directly in the eyes on Friday night when they went toe-to-toe with the Heat and even ended up with a 13 point lead at one point in the game. Paul George was elevated over everyone in Game 2, including an amazing dunk late in the third quarter that saw him not only beat LeBron James on the dribble but posterize Chris “Birdman” Andersen as well.
We were then treated to a really cool moment when after LeBron answered George’s dunk with a buzzer beating three pointer to end the third, the two players slapped hands in the ultimate sign of sportsmanship and displayed an admiration that isn’t often seen during games of this magnitude.
But while LeBron seemed to be congratulating George, he was really letting him know that he was coming for the Pacers and that’s exactly what happened in the final 12 minutes of the game. Miami stormed out of the gate and eventually took the lead back from Indiana and the two sides duked it out in back-and-forth fashion the rest of the way home.
As for the controversy surrounding Roy Hibbert and his absence on the court at the end of Game 1, the Pacers rim defender was bludgeoning the Heat early in the game and finished with his night in double digit scoring and rebound totals.
But as you would have expected, the game came down to the final minute of the game as both teams hit the final stretch of the game tied 93-93. Indiana grabbed two massive free throws from George Hill to get a two point lead but the Heat were far from done. As we learned in Game 1, 2.2 seconds was too much time for the Heat and they had over 0:40 left in the game to comeback and hit the Pacers where it hurts.
David West made an amazing steal on the Heat’s next possession but the everything was busted when George Hill lost control of the basketball and turned it over. However, he saved the Pacers at the time as his last minute fumble of the ball tipped it away from Mario Chalmers who would have had a wide open lane to drive a layup and tie the game.
As for the final moments of the game, Roy Hibbert was indeed on the court, but it was West once again forcing a turnover on LeBron James and sending the Pacers to the free throw line to clinch the game.
This series has already exceeded the expectations we all had for it and we’ve gotten more out these first two games between the Heat and Pacers than we did the entire postseason from any team. The Western Conference series between the Spurs and Grizzlies feels almost like a regular season game in comparison to the clash of the titans we’re witnessing over in the East.
Indiana spoiled home court for the Heat and have evened the series 1-1. Game 3 will be Sunday in Indiana where the Pacers are 6-0 in the postseason. If you thought AmericanAirlines Arena was rocking for the first two games of the series, you just wait until Pacers fans welcome their team back with the series evened with the Heat.