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Heat send a message with blowout Game 3 win over Pacers

May 27, 2013, 12:01 AM EST

Pacers' West, Stephenson and George react near the end of Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff series against the Heat in Indianapolis

The Heat didn’t only reclaim home court advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals with a lopsided 114-96 victory in Indiana on Sunday — they sent a message. Miami rolled from the very start, and in doing so reminded us of just how dominant this team was all season long.

In the first two games of the series in Miami, the Pacers seemed to be an excellent matchup for the Heat, and were able to use their size and team defense to keep each of those contests within reach until the final few possessions.

It’s clear the Heat didn’t take too kindly to facing the prospect of falling behind in the series, and Miami flipped a switch that few teams are capable of in lighting up the Pacers for a Game 3 destruction.

Miami put a ridiculous 70 points on the scoreboard by halftime, and shot almost 63 percent from the field in the process. LeBron James took to the low post to score seemingly at will over Paul George, and even did so with the left hand on more than one possession. The Pacers as a team did fine offensively, but were missing in action on the defensive end all night long. They allowed Udonis Haslem to have the breakout game of the night for the Heat, and the veteran big man finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were solid as usual for the Heat, and Mario Chalmers was big in the third quarter when Indiana made a brief surge in an attempt to close the halftime deficit.

Miami shot 54.5 percent from the field for the game, and turned the ball over just five times. Most teams will end up winning by putting up those kinds of numbers, but if the Heat are allowed to roam that freely offensively, the result will be disastrous.

The Heat would like to remind you that that they haven’t lost consecutive games since early January, and haven’t lost on the road since March 27. To think they’d drop their second straight in the playoffs to this Pacers team was apparently laughable, given the way Miami imposed its will from the very start.

After the Pacers established a mountain of momentum in the first two games of the series, Miami erased it all with 48 minutes of unstoppable and brilliant basketball. The Heat’s performance was so dominant that it’s worth wondering whether the Pacers will win another game to slow Miami’s inevitable march to the Finals.

Indiana will do its best, of course, to throw this one out as being just another game. But the doubt that Miami planted firmly in the heads of the Pacers players with its crushing Game 3 performance should be substantial enough that if the Heat play anywhere close to the level they proved capable of on Sunday, this series will be over in five.

  1. rickyspanish - May 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    LeBo worked Paul George all night. I loved watching Chalmers throwing the ball off of Hibbert’s noggin. Priceless.

  2. jbeagles23 - May 27, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    That was clinical. Amazing team basketball. Indy was on fire too

  3. rodge1 - May 27, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    Great win Heat!… I loved the empty seats in the 4th quarter.

    • kyd29 - May 27, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      What a bunch of losers. This city does not only not deserve this team, they don’t deserve any team.

      • cantonbound13 - May 27, 2013 at 8:54 PM

        This is only temporary. There will be plenty of empty seats at AAA arena in a few years yet again.

  4. jayrandle - May 27, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Great game by The Heat.
    No matter who you root for can we all agree Reggie Miller is a horrible tv analyst?
    He is so partial towards Indiana. He throws comments out as if its a fact.
    He has nothing to say of substance….he brings nothing to a broadcast.
    He has a lot to say but during the fourth quarter when Pacers are down by 20 he dead quiet.

  5. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 27, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    6

  6. mungman69 - May 27, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    If the Pacers hadn’t shot so well from 3 point land that score would have been even more lopsided.

  7. mungman69 - May 27, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    With the race crowd in town I’m surprised that the fans got to the game, period.

  8. indyshepherd - May 27, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    Way to go Pacers. Nice job laying down for Herr David Stern. This Indiana post-season will undoubtedly go down as… “Let’s just wait until next season…”

    • brutl - May 27, 2013 at 1:23 AM

      Haha, unreal.
      So now David Stern is telling them they have to play badly?
      16 extra FTs tonight wasn’t enough?

  9. cantonbound13 - May 27, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    The bandwagoners are back.

    • BrownsTown - May 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      No doubt. The bandwagon just had to gas up before it could pick up more passengers.

    • miamatt - May 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      What does 1972sxwife have to say on this matter?

    • jimmymarlinsfan - May 27, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Shouldn’t you be washing the Knicks balls on a golf course somewhere?

      • cantonbound13 - May 27, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        Look at who makes an appearance? Yet again only after a Heat win. The King of the bandwagoners from Boston.

    • jimmymarlinsfan - May 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news but when I said cleaning Knicks balls at the golf course I was really hoping you would understand that I meant their golf balls and using a ball washer, not man meat and your mouth. Might help with your rambling, non sensical stupidity that constantly flows from you

      • cantonbound13 - May 27, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        Leave your sick fantasies off the comment board, it’s disturbing.

  10. karlton3 - May 27, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    It’s not really that big of a deal or that surprising. Heck, they lost game 3 to the Hawks by over 20 points. This Indiana team has taken punches all season and swung back and I’d expect the same. I expect the Pacers to win game 4 by 10 or 15 points.

  11. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 27, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Here’s the “message”. The Pacers played great last night. They scored 54 points by halftime. They scored only one less point than they did on their Game 2 win. They “held” LeBron to 22/3/4. The only thing they did poorly was their FTs missing 16 of them, but they still MADE 30, while the Heat only SHOT 28. Pacers had 9 more rebounds.

    Pacers pretty much had things their way.

    And they got run out of the gym. Get the “message”?

    The Heat played ball lat night. Hadn’t done that since who knows when. Obviously we can’t expect that type of shooting from UD (so happy for UD, of whom I’ve been critical), so his performance took the win from “good solid tight win” status to “blowout “. Not going to blowout a team as good as the Pacers without someone having an unexpectedly great night.

  12. gmsingh - May 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Is a less than 20 point margin really a “blowout”? To quote Public Enemy, “Don’t believe the hype.”

    • nobandwagonridersallowed - May 27, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      Yes, it actually is… Do you realize that it was still an 18 point win with both teams emptying their bench? Maybe you didn’t watch the whole 4th qtr and bailed early like most of the home crowd.

      I enjoyed hearing the “Lets Go Heat” chants during the post game show… I guess there are some Miami fans in the Midwest

      • karlton3 - May 27, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        There are Miami fans in the midwest, and just like Miami fans elsewhere, they are also Lakers, Celtics, or Bulls fans depending on the year/decade.

      • gmsingh - May 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM

        So an 18 point margin is a blowout because you say so? Sorry, does not compute.

    • pputnam100 - May 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      of course it is, can you imagine how much the Heat would have won by if Vogel hadn’t thrown in the towel and cleared his bench? Trust me, HE knew, that’s why he packed it in….

  13. pputnam100 - May 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Hey folks,just assuming the Heat get to the final, does anyone think the Spurs are the team that can beat them with their length, far greater backcourt and much higher basketball IQ? Just asking….I’m a Heat fan, actually more of a LeBron fan (hard not to admire greatness), but the one team that really scares me is the Spurs, they have the smarts and the patience to deal with the Heat’s pressure D, I think

    • realfootballfan - May 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      It’s the only team the Heat should be afraid of. That being said, I still think they beat them in 6. The superstars of the Heat are better/younger than those of the Spurs, but if they get cocky and play sloppy and uninspired, something they’re prone to do, they could lose it like they did when they let game 2 get away from them against the Mavs, never recovering.

      They nearly did that in game one and did do that in game 2 because they should have won that game when up 84-81, but as usual, got enamored with themselves and started launching bad 3’s and being lazy on defense. They’re a very frustrating team to watch because when they’re focused, they’re virtually not beatable, let alone prone to losing 4 games in a series.

      The “be afraid of the Pacers and Grizzlies” bandwagon was a joke, neither of those teams have scoring from talented enough players on their teams to overcome Miami in 4 games.

  14. barkley4life - May 27, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    If you understand basketball and don’t look at it like its a damn video game it was a message. Vogel basically cried on the inside because he couldn’t show his team that they had no real answer for Levron in the post. With that matchup alone the Heat changed the entire series because if they start bringing the double it will finally free up Allen Battier Cole from 3 and now your poison can really get you blown out the gym. Pacers can not score enough so they want a slowed down game and stay on shooters etc. if they start bringing the double on Lebron who’s the best passer in the league from the post it may be over in 5.

  15. glink123 - May 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    really? a lopsided 8-point victory? that’s like, 21 seconds for Reggie Miller.

    • pantsfreezone - May 27, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      The game was over when the heat were up by 21 and emptied their bench. Holy bad DNA, I hope you don’t reproduce.

  16. nard100 - May 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Heat in 6

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