Game of the Night: Miami Heat 98, Indiana Pacers 86

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This started off as the game of the night, but as you’ll see, last night was a night full of headline-grabbing performances.

We’ll start with the most important game involving a clash that ultimately settled the fate of the Eastern Conference’s top two seeds.

In terms of headline-grabbing performances, there were a few here and not all were for the right reasons.

LeBron James will go down as the top scorer with 36 points in a game the Miami Heat controlled from the outset and came to dominate as the third quarter progressed. The Heat played it’s 9th game without Dwyane Wade.

The Heat opened the second half on a 16-0 run as their stifling defense held the Pacers without a field goal until Luis Scola converted a layup on the six minute mark. The Pacers had just two points (on two Scola free-throws) in the first six minutes.

Miami’s lead ballooned to as much as 23 before the Heat inevitably switched off and let the Pacers creep to within nine points early in the fourth quarter.

Miami woke up and realised what was going on before too long, however, and the lead grew back to a healthy eighteen points.

Now for the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Roy Hibbert, professional basketball player standing 7’2″ high, pulled down one more rebound than you or I did tonight. It also took him until more than three-quarters of the way through the third quarter to make his first field goal. He would finish with five points.

That Hibbert had such a game against a team notorious for it’s poor rebounding should set alarm bells ringing.

Also cause for concern was the continued sloppy play by backcourt pair Paul George and Lance Stephenson. The pair combined for eight of Indiana’s 16 turnovers. One turnover involved perhaps the worst post entry pass I have seen in a basketball game, Stephenson practically rolling the ball along the deck to Roy Hibbert and out of bounds.

The win gave Miami sole control of the top seed in the Eastern Conference and, with Brooklyn losing to Toronto and Chicago winning, all but makes it certain they will avoid Chicago in the second round.

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Tags: Indiana Pacers Lebron James Miami Heat NBA NBA Playoffs

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