Last night’s game was an excellent way to start off the Pacers-Heat series. It seemed that the Pacers were going to win, but it was the white-hot Miami Heat that pulled away with the W.
After a careless turnover made by Paul George, Miami was able to go up three. He made up for it, however, by making a clutch three-pointer with less than one second left in the fourth quarter, causing the game to go into overtime.
The game was always close, but the defining moment of the game was LeBron James‘ buzzer beater shot. The Heat were down by one with two seconds left in the game and James drove into the lane and made the layup to win the game. After much speculation and criticism, King James’ put the debate on whether he’s clutch or not to rest. Not only was the shot clutch, but his overall performance was impressive. James ended the game with a triple double (30 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists).
The Pacers could have closed out the game, but David West had a hard time getting shots to go down. He missed both of his free throws after drawing the foul by Shane Battier, then two other shots later in the game. George saved the Pacers again after drawing a foul by Dwyane Wade while in the act of shooting a three-pointer. Despite a late attempt to come back, the Pacers fell to the Heat 102-103.
Very few expect the Pacers to advance past James and the Heat, but if they were to have a fighting chance, that would have been the game to win. They started out strong, but began to make careless mistakes and turnovers.
There has also been much consideration about the last play of the game. George is a good defender, but many wonder why Roy Hibbert was not in the game. Pound for pound, him defending James would seem like a better match-up. He’s an inside man and can defend the lane better than George could. Hibbert did have five fouls, but even if he drew the foul, there was only two seconds left in the game. Whatever the reason for the decision, the only thing we can do now is speculate.
The Heat have the advantage for the next game, but there is still a chance that the Pacers can win it. Their only chance of winning the series is to both win the next game and at home. If they give up both games, the Heat have a higher chance of beating the Pacers in Indiana, despite their 30-11 record at home.