NBA Playoffs 2013: Indiana Pacers Lose it in the Third Quarter


May 30, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is guarded by Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) in the fourth quarter of game five of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 90-79. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

30-13.  30-13.  30-13.  That was the score of the third quarter, in which the Miami Heat took a haymaker to the Indiana Pacers.  You knew that the Miami Heat were going to come out strong in that quarter being down four points at halftime.  Four points is not nearly enough to be up on this strong of a team.  That four point lead didn’t feel as good for the Pacers as it should have.  They could have been up double digits at some point in that first half, and MAYBE we’re looking at a whole different ball game. But the teams come out to the third, and it was all Heat.  It was all Lebron James.  We don’t need to talk much about the rest of this game because that third quarter was where this game was won and lost.  The Heat won that quarter, and ultimately won the game.

It was almost like Lebron James was a video game character just building up his skills to put together a finish, and boy did he come out of the gates in that third.  He assisted or scored on 25 of the 30 points in that quarter for the Heat.  At one point, he had more points than the Pacers team. More points than the ENTIRE Pacers team.  If that’s happening, you’re not winning.  The Pacers truly lost their spirit in that quarter, and never recovered.  They couldn’t get anything going as they ended up not scoring for over 8 minutes, and that even felt like it was longer than that.  They did so many good things in the first half that they couldn’t do in the second half.

This game was played at the Pacers’ pace for all that first half, and then it’s like everything went out the window.  This Miami Heat team truly has that second gear where they come out and just knock you around.  Udonis Haslem was hitting that set shot he’s been making all of this series.  Lebron James was getting everywhere, and doing everything.  He might as well been playing one on five against the Pacers, and who knows if the Pacers end up winning that the way he was scoring.  Hands in his face, and his was still stroking down a three pointer like it was nothing.  He definitely showcased why anyone want take him on their team, and let him carry them to the NBA Finals.  With the way last night unfolded, this Heat team looks ready to close out game six.  Game six is really where we will see what this Pacers team is made out of.  They have to find that mojo they had working and KEEP it working.  If they can do that, then there’s a chance this series goes seven. But if the Heat play like they did in JUST that third quarter, watch out, this could get ugly.