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Baseline to Baseline recaps: Pacers defense shuts down Heat

Jan 9, 2013, 8:01 AM EDT

Indiana's Paul George dribbles against Miami's LeBron James during an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis Reuters

Welcome to PBT’s roundup of the games yesterday in NBA action. Or, what you missed while trying to figure out “who was the hot girl in that commercial?”…

Rockets 125, Lakers 112: The Lakers were without any of their main bigs — Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill are all out injured — so the Lakers went small and tried to run with the Rockets. The Lakers have bad transiton defense. So, you get that score. In a separate story I talk a little more about the game and a lot more about the hole the Lakers are in with all these losses.

Pacers 87, Heat 77: Remember how last week Miami had a team meeting to talk about rebounding? Didn’t work. The Pacers finished with 22 offensive rebounds — on 43 percent of their missed shots they got a second chance. That was the key difference in the game.

And it wasn’t a pretty game. The winning team shot 36.3 percent as a team, but the Pacers are the best defensive team in the league this season and it showed against the Heat. The game was close through the first half but the Pacers took 10 point lead in the third quarter when Heat went cold and Pacers go on 23-6 run to close out quarter.

Wade 23 in first half then seven points on 1-of-4 shooting in the second half. LeBron has 22 points but on 20 shots and with six turnovers. The best player on the court Tuesday was Paul George, who had 29 points and 12 of them in the third quarter when the Pacers pulled away.

Timberwolves 108, Hawks 103: This is the first win for Minnesota over Atlanta since 2006. The Timberwolves took control of this game in the first quarter behind Nikola Pekovic, who finished with 25 points and 18 rebounds. The Timberwolves led by 17 in the third quarter, but a 14-4 run late by the Hawks made this a one-point game late. But Alexey Shved drove and kicked out to Dante Cunningham, who drained a 20-footer to make it a three point game. Then Cunningham stole the Hawks inbound pass and this game was all but over.

For the Hawks, Jeff Teague is struggling. I’d say rest him, but they need him to play big minutes until Devin Harris returns.

Nets 109, 76ers 89: The Nets are now 6-1 under P.J. Carlesimo and their offense is clicking well enough again to cover up the defense.

This game was close for the first half but the Nets opened the third quarter on an 18-2 run and that was pretty much it for the night. Deron Williams was hot with 22 points on 11 shots and Andray Blatche continues his strong play off the bench with 20 points. Reggie Evans pulled in a career high 23 rebounds. Jrue Holiday had 19 to pace Philly.

Bucks 108, Suns 99: Jim Boylan is undefeated as a head coach. Phoenix led much of the first half but a 13-0 run by Milwaukee in the third quarter gave them a lead they never lost. Brandon Jennings was hot — 29 points and he was 5-of-7 from three. The Suns are not a good defensive team and Jennings just shredded them.

  1. davidly - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    As a born and bred Pacers’ fan, I know what it is like to have to appreciate the game per se, as opposed to having to rely on winning–let alone, championships–for enjoyment. Indiana has had a steadier mix of talent over the decades, but will rarely, if ever, get the benefit of the whistle come playoff time.

    Fans of teams with huge stars take note: Don’t take the beauty of the game for granted. It could always be worse.

  2. progress2011 - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    The Heat WILL NOT make it out of the East, if they do not trade for an Athletic, 6’11/ 7’0″ guy that can clog up the middle and get 10-12 boards per game!

    “Positionless” ball sounds cute-catchy and cool…for four the other 4 positions. The one position you better have is somebody that can defend the paint and get some boards !

    Hibbert and Indiana’s other big men looked like All Star MVP’s playing against Bosh/ aka – the SOFTEST 6’11” dude to EVER lace up a pair of sneaks !

    If Bosh is too soft to
    1. Get on the floor to dig out some possessions,
    2. Bang with other big men to get position
    3. Clog up the paint to prevent guys from just running in the paint
    4. Be an enforcer

    Then Bosh has GOTTA GO ! The Heat don’t need another 15″ jump shot specialist. They have enough perimeter shooters ! If you think about his game, that’s all he is bringing to the table now !

    Trade Bosh to get one of these guys:
    1. Joakim Noah
    2. Varejao
    3. Pau Gasol (or his brother, if Memphis puts him on the block) since the lakers have thrown Gasol so far under the bus. This might be the best trade because in D’Antoni’s system, they need a 15″ jump shot shooter. That’s what they are trying to get Gasol to do. Bosh can do that.

  3. cantonbound13 - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Bosh spice only grabs 5 rebounds! He’s barely averaging 8 rebounds per game as a “big man”. Talk about soft! Yet Kurt thinks he should be an all star starter. What a homer!

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