Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
Tip-off: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – 8:30 PM ET
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel believe his team has to play better. Period.
Less than 24 hours after blowing an opportunity to take control of the series at home versus the Miami Heat, Indiana walked back into Bankers Life Fieldhouse trying to figure out what went wrong in Game 3.
YouWager experts consider anything would help at this point with the Pacers in desperate need of a win, now trailing 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
The team was hoping home-court advantage would help them take command of the series after stealing one in Miami.
However, what ended happening was LeBron James and his teammates refused to give in against an Indiana team that has repeatedly shown it will not back down from challenges.
After scoring 36 points in a Game 2 defeat, the 28 year-old promised to make up for the two turnovers in the final 30 seconds of that game. And so he did.
The NBA Champion scored 22 points in Game 3 and seized control of the offense by working from the post.
The surprise move let Miami beat Indiana at their own game, outscoring the Pacers 52-36 in the paint and opening up mid-range jumpers for James’ teammates. Miami ended up shooting 54.5 percent from the field, setting a franchise playoff record with 70 points in the first half and committing just five turnovers — a performance that even had Miami calling it their best game of this year’s NBA playoffs.
If the Pacers want to stick around a while longer in the Eastern Conference finals, they know they have to focus on James.
Indiana center Roy Hibbert believed All-Star swingman Paul George made things tough on James throughout the first three games of the series but also knows George needs more help from teammates to protect the middle.
The biggest problem for the Pacers may simply be staying the course.
This team looked nothing like it did in Miami, when they were able to push the Heat to brink in Game 1 and thwarted every challenge the Florida team threw at them to hold on in Game 2.
On Sunday night, the Heat started fast, took control in the second quarter and never allowed the Pacers to get closer than seven. It was the first time Indiana lost at home in the playoffs and the 18-point deficit matched their worst home loss all season.