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James goes manic, drops 41 on Pacers for 117-112 Heat victory

Going for more free-wheeling rant on focus points, less recap you can find everywhere else on the internetz: Game summary in less than 200 characters Pacers shoot submachine bucket guns, James fires back keeping Heat within reach. After 3 quarters of taking a pounding, Miami lockdown Pacers to a 27-15 4h quarter, escaping with the win. James puts on MVP backpack On the same day Hollinger from ESPN.com said: "Let's be honest for a minute. The best player in the league is LeBron James. It's not even close.", James went out and put on a dazzling show to silence all non-sensical debate of him as the strongest of MVP candidates. After games like these, it's hard to argue otherwise. You can try, but it won't even be close. LeBron James took command from the onset, making impossibly difficult shots for anybody with human limbs, human strength and/or human balance to consider throwing up without dangerous repercussions. He would score 26 points on 11-12 shooting in the first half, most of them at the most of opportune times at quarters' end. Pacer runs were the poison and James was the remedy. His beastial stat line would finish with 41 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 1 dunk on his own supermate Wade and at least a few hundred thousand dropped jaws across the world. The Proper Adjustments To deal with the Pacer's size and rebounding prowess, Spoelstra went with Dampier as the big man of choice. He would not disappoint, throwing his bodily mass around, running back on defense and going a perfect 3-3 from the field in 25 minutes of playing time. Ilgauskas was limited to 15 minutes after Hibbert's youthful legs and mobility clearly zipped past him. Joel Anthony would make a short 6-minute cameo to garner 1 rebound and 2 fouls. Eddie House's size mismatch limited him to 6 minutes but he would step up when needed most by nailing free throws in the clutch to ice the game. Indiana, You Have Our Full Attention A match versus the Pacers possibly carries more weight than any other matchup aside from the obvious titans. Battles against the Celtics are of utmost importance for the likely inevitable clash before reaching the cusp of the Eastern Conference. Encounters with the Magic are a far second hazard with the Bulls increasing their threat level to a close third as the season carries on. But before one can consider the possibilities against the goliaths, Miami might need to pass through the gates of Indiana - land of tough mortars, electric kamikazes, basketball dynamism and rebound consumption. So far in their two engagements, both teams have come away with a victory each. It's obvious now the outcomes of each were not by chance but conscious results from their styles of assault. Sure, the first loss came on game #14 of the season - one game after the Rudy Gay buzzer beater deflated the Heat's hype bubble. But the Pacers are still in the books for holding the Heat to their lowest output of the season then. The method in which Indiana dismantled Miami was impressive and only accentuated the wide gap between the game of team basketball and street ball sometimes masquerading as Heat ball. It was the most mortal the team had looked and no team has matched it so far. Tonight's win was mere survival. Miami endured what the Pacers violently threw at them, holding their composure just long enough to strike back at the end of every quarter. The Indy offensive was relentless, the physicality restless and if not for the fourth quarter lockdown and that James fella, could have been a media frenzy Heat loss. There's been ugly wins, ugly losses but none feel dirtier when finished than Pacer meetings. Safe to say, fandom beware - Indiana may not be ideal in the first round. Last thing the media critic tank needs is a Dubs-Mavs-like upset to obliterate all that is basketball holy. In Miami and throughout.