Dwyane Wade and his Heat teammates came out in this one like they were shot out of a cannon. After having a very hard time getting to the rim against Boston on Sunday, Wade started out this one by attacking the basket every chance he got. The results were Dwyane making his first six shots, including a couple of and 1's, and scoring 14 of the Heat's first 16 points.
The Big 3 accounted for Miami's first 37 points as the Heat outscored Indiana 41-19 in the 1st quarter, leading by as many as 24. It was a very dominant opening quarter for Miami, who hit 70% from the field while holding the Pacers to just 35%. The Heat also out-rebounded Indy 15-6. Now as one-sided as the games first 12 minutes were, the next 12 would be pretty much equally dominant, just in favor of the other team.
Miami hit just 28% of their 2nd quarter shots while the Pacers hit 63%, outscoring the Heat 35-17 and drawing to within 4 points at the half. Things didn't really improve for Miami after the break. Indiana continued their extended run, outscoring the Heat 40-25 since early in the 2nd to take their first lead of the game just a few minutes into half #2.
If you discount the total lop-sidedness of the first half then you could view this as a pretty good game. I'm sure the fans at Conseco Fieldhouse were enjoying themselves, especially when their Pacers entered the 4th quarter with a 1-point lead considering the way this game began for them. Things remained tight down the stretch as neither team led by more then 3 until LeBron shifted the momentum.
After a play broke down, James found himself with the ball just above the free throw line. He put up a shot fake that got Danny Granger to give him some space, and that's when it happened. LeBron had enough room to underhand the ball off the backboard, creating a self-ally-oop pass. He caught the ball off the glass and slammed it down, completing the kind of dunk that you'd see during the All-Star dunk competition.
That play started a 10-3 run for the Heat that helped them pull away in the final minutes. LeBron scored his 10 4th quarter points in a 5-minute span while Erick Dampier got the bucket that sent the fans to the exits. Damp took a nice pass from Chris Bosh and jammed it home, putting the Heat up by 10 with under a minute left.
- D-Wade hit the 20-point mark just over 6 minutes into the game. He finished with 41 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
- The Big 3 accounted for 39 of the Heat's 41 1st quarter points and ended up scoring 90 of Miami's 110 points.
- Erick Dampier scored a season-high 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
- 3-point shooting is still a problem for Miami. They hit just 4-of-16 and are now a measly 7-for-32 in their last two games.
- The Heat became the first team in the league to hit 20 road wins with their victory tonight in Indiana.
- Mario Chalmers grabbed 6 rebounds in the 1st quarter, matching a season-high for an entire game. He finished with 2 points, the same 6 rebounds and 2 assists.
Miami will now head to Toronto to finish off their back-to-back. They will be without Mike Miller, who was hit in the head by Jeff Foster and had to leave the game early. Miller will stay behind in Indiana as a precaution.