The Indiana Pacers brought themselves back into their NBA playoff series against the Miami Heat, tying it 1 -1 in Game 2 at Miami. After being largely dominated in Game 1, The Pacers came good as a cohesive unit, to restrict high flying Miami to just 75 points, taking advantage of a poor effort from the bench as well as the absence of Chris Bosh from the deadly trinity. In the other game of the night, the San Antonio Spurs beat their opponents, LA Clippers, with a comfortable 16 point margin to take a 1 -0 lead in their Conference Semi-Final series.
Indiana Pacers 78 - 75 Miami Heat
Even though Dwayne Wade and Lebron James combined to outscore all four of the double digit players on Indiana's court put together, they failed to help their team win. Indiana was helped greatly by the absence of Chris Bosh for Miami and on a night where the bench was expected to step up and fill in the spaces, more than ever, there was only vacuum. The Indiana Pacers fought hard in this game, never letting Miami out of their sight, even though they threatened to pull away as Wade and James were getting hot. The turning point came in the final 2 and a half minutes where Miami failed to bucket any of there 7 attempts. Lebron himself missed 2 freethrows with just under a minute to play and Miami trailing by 1. He spoke after the game, "You hope for them to go in. The last two didn't go for me. The game is not lost or won with those two free throws but I definitely want to come through for my teammates. I'll get an opportunity again. I know I'll be at the line again."
The Pacers were rewarded for their team effort which combined with an apathetic Miami bench helped them level the series 1-1. Guard, George Hill, who added 15 points on the night, said, "We stayed together. Great team effort. Everyone was counting on each other, depending on each other, communicating. We knew they were going to make shots. They're great players but we figured they're capable of missing some, too, and they missed the ones we really needed them to miss the most." David West starred for Indiana, shooting 5 of 13 from the field, but mostly coming good in the crunch moments. He also added 10 rebounds to his tally on the night. It was a rough night for both teams but the stars aligned for Indiana in the tough moments, giving them a crucial advantage as they host Game 3 and 4 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
LA Clippers 92 - 108 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan stole the show in Game 1 of the Western Conference semi-final between LA Clippers and San Antonio Spurs. The former MVP posted a game high 26 points to help Spurs win the game with considerable ease and take a 1 -0 lead in their semi-final series. Contributions came from all ends of the court for Spurs with the likes of Manu Ginobli (22), Daniel Green (15) and Kawhi Leonard (16) coming good on the night. Tony Parker was cold from the paint but had 11 assists on the night, playing provider for his in form team mates. The LA Clippers proved to be Spurs' hardest test in these playoffs in the first half but quickly lost the breathe in their lungs, having played 6 times in 11 days, one can see why.
Clippers were led by Eric Biedsoe who didn't even start the game for the visitors. Chris Paul had a night similar to Tony Parker, posting 6 points and 10 assists. Blake Griffin slammed in some mammoth dunks but they failed to intimidate a San Antonio side that has won its last 15 games. The team had the weekend off to them and with recharged batteries, it came as no surprise that the hosts dominated their opponents and took the early advantage in this playoff series.
As the next two games head to Indiana, one doesn't have to talk up Indiana's chances in hushed tones anymore for it is now more than a reality. The Pacers have the opportunity to grab the series from the scruff of its neck and upset the Eastern Conference favourites. The Heat on the other hand need to ensure that their bench comes good and both James and Wade need to make crunch moment points for this series is no more a foregone conclusion and a lot of critical moments are to be expected in this one. However, one still expects Miami to come good and represent the East in the NBA Finals.
With a comfortable win in Game 1 and their winning streak unscathed, one expects San Antonio to go on and take Game 2 as well on thursday. The Spurs are favourites to take over the Western Conference this time around for the Lakers seem to be going from bad to worse. Tim Duncan and the lads will be tested in the upcoming days and we'll know whether they are the new fad or will they eventually fade.
Games on Wednesday Night
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (1-1)
LA Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (0-1)