The second game of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat was full of tension before it even began. This series has been entertaining and exciting from the beginning when Frank Vogel said that the Miami Heat was just another team, even though that’s not what he said. There were plenty of memories from the playoff series between these two teams last year. Both teams are competitive, skilled and physical.
If anyone doubted the skill or ability of the Indiana Pacers, they changed their minds after game 1. Indiana showed the world that they were just as competitive, if not more so, as the Miami Heat. The game was close, but Indiana was in the drivers seat for most of the game, until the final quarter and overtime.
If the Indiana Pacers hoped to have a chance to win this series they needed to take an early home court game away from the Miami Heat. They knew what was at stake. They knew they needed to go to Indianapolis with an even series. They knew what they had to bring to the court tonight.
Game 2 started well for the Indiana Pacers. They were not only outscoring the Miami Heat they had fewer turnovers, more rebounds, and higher percentages at the three point line and at the free throw line. Even though the score was relatively close to begin with, the Pacers were most definitely in control of this game. At the end of the first three quarters the Pacers were in the lead. In the first half they had a lead as much as 12 points at one time. This was their game to lose.
Paul George looked like the All Star that Pacer fans know that he is. It seemed like he was hitting the shots he needed in the most crucial moments. David West, criticized for his free throw shooting was 9 for 10 into the third quarter. Roy Hibbert was having a much better game. He was pulling down rebounds, but more importantly he was leading the team in scoring. They should’ve felt extremely confident with the way they were playing, however they were still playing the Miami Heat.
The end of the third quarter Paul George repaid LeBron James for his layup at the end of game 1. George beat LeBron off the bounce, drove straight to the basket only George didn’t lay it up like LeBron. Instead he slammed it in the face of Anderson, the “bird man,”
Going into the fourth quarter the Miami Heat pulled the game back within their reach and the fourth quarter didn’t seem so certain. In fact Miami took the lead with a little over 7 minutes left in the game. They went on a seven point run to get up to a four point lead.
The well balanced team put together by Frank Vogel kept their calm and chipped away quickly. Even though they were playing neck and neck with the number one team from this season, they were still missing many opportunities to open their lead and close this game out.
To inspire his team during a time out Frank Vogel said, “They’re a great team, We’re a great team.” The rest of the game continued to go back and forth. Much like the end of the first game and close to the same score. Each block, each shot, each free throw was being matched down the stretch. The looming cloud of LeBron James was closing in overhead. The question in everyones minds. Will LeBron James pull out yet another game winning play? Tonight was not a night to add to his accolades of great finishing moves. Within the last minute of the game James gave away two turnovers with Indiana holding onto the lead. Those back to back turnovers ended up being vital and didn’t allow Miami the shots they needed to come back in this game.
The Indiana Pacers were able to take a much needed road win against the Miami Heat. Winning the game 97-93 and taking away the Miami Heat’s home court advantage for this series. Now they get to go back to Indianapolis and defend their court which they have done all to well so far.