Indiana averaged 50 percent shooting and outscored the Heat 50-32 in the paint. Their rebounding game was also big, out-rebounding Miami 49-30. This was largely because of Roy Hibbert and David West. Both had double-doubles and 12 rebounds (they have 23 and 14 points, respectively).
Fouls were a big problem for both teams in this game. Pacers’ small forward Paul George got in foul trouble early, but came out of the game with 12 points and eight rebounds. LeBron James fouled out of the game late in the fourth quarter after scoring 24 points and getting six rebounds. Others that ended with five fouls included Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers and Lance Stephenson.
Despite Stephenson’s five fouls, he was one of the major stand-out players on Indiana’s team. The young shooting guard ended with 20 points, which includes a huge three-point buzzer beater at the end of the third. Stephenson went 9-15 from the field and was a key piece in the Pacers’ shooting game.
Overall, the Indiana Pacers played a good game and showed that they’re a force to be reckoned with. They ended the third quarter on a 23-10 run and kept the Heat to shooting 1-9 during the last five minutes of the game. The Pacers also were able to frustrate James and double-teamed him in the paint more than in game three.
Miami, on the other hand, struggled at many points in the game. They had a slow start, but picked up the pace, going on a 13-2 run after being down 11-0 in the first quarter.
The Heat’s defense was a major factor in their loss last night. There were chips and cracks in their defensive game, allowing the Pacers to penetrate in the paint. Many of the players on the Heat’s team also seemed out of touch. Udonis Haslem was not as much of a factor in game four as he was in game three, only having six points. Chris “Birdman” Andersen also did not contribute much. He ended the game with no points and only two rebounds after being perfect from the field in the past two games of the series.
Mario Chalmers did, however, step up and finished the game with 20 points. His offensive presence and energy helped the Heat stay in the game. Despite Wade’s five fouls, he put up 16 points and had six assists for Miami and only turned the ball over three times.
The series is now tied 2-2 as the teams head back to Miami for game five. Indiana is showing the Heat (and everyone) that they have no intention of going away. For Miami to come out victorious in the series, their bench has to be in sync and get going at the same time and consistently. Andersen, Shane Battier and Ray Allen must all have good games for the Heat to move on to the finals and ultimately win the championship.
Meanwhile, the Pacers have no intention of letting this happen and are motivated to head to the NBA Finals for the first time in over 10 years.