Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers - 5/24/14 Game 3 ECF
Indiana Pacers (56-26) at Miami Heat (54-28)
NBA Basketball: Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 8:30 pm (AmericanAirlines Arena)
The Line: Miami Heat -7.5 -- Over/Under: 183.5 See the Latest Odds
The series shifts to South Beach as the Miami Heat host the Indiana Pacers for Game 3 tonight.
The Heat were able to get the crucial split with a hard-fought 87-83 win in Game 2 thanks to their two best players. After getting thumped in the series opener, the Heat put up a much better showing in Game 2 but could never quite get their noses in front until late in the game when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for the team's last 20 points to level the series. Other than 11 points from Norris Cole, no other Heat player finished in double figures but they made up for that with some stiffer defense that held the Pacers to just 40 percent shooting after allowing 51.5 percent in the first game.
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As for the Pacers, Lance Stephenson tied his playoff career high with 25 points and seven assists but got next to no help as David West shot just five of 16 for his 10 points while Paul George shot four of 16 for his 14. Despite the poor shooting, the Pacers were still in a strong position midway through the fourth quarter before Wade and James took over the game. To make matters worse, George collided with Wade while battling for a loose ball and later complained that he had blurred vision and had briefly blacked out which suggests that he may have suffered a concussion on Tuesday night so while he did practice with the team yesterday, he isn't quite a lock to play in Game 3.
I'm not really going to bother you with the stats because the playoffs are a different animal and after what I saw in Game 2, I don't want to talk myself out of taking the Heat at home. Sure, West probably won't have two bad shooting nights in a row, but the Heat looked to have regained that winning formula and should be too good at home.