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Wild game ends with too much Hibbert for Heat to stop, series tied 2-2

May 29, 2013, 12:35 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game Four Getty Images

This was a wild ride.

From a fast 11-0 start by a Pacers team playing with desperation, to LeBron James having another monster game including an insane block of George Hill at the rim. From Lance Stephenson providing an offensive spark and hitting ridiculous threes, to some ridiculous calls from the referees.

But with the game tied 89-89 and 3:28 left, the Pacers relied on the one thing Miami has not been able to consistently stop — Roy Hibbert. First he had a putback of a Paul George miss. Next possession Hibbert missed a righty hook over Chris Bosh but grabbed his own offensive board, went back up and drew the and-1 foul. Next Pacers possession Stephenson missed but Hibbert was there for another tip in. Seven straight Pacers points by the 7’2” big man that has towered over the Pacers wins.

Indiana won 99-92, tying the series up at 2-2. This is now a best of three where each team has won on the other’s home court. Game 5 is Thursday night back in Miami.

Indiana did a much better job on LeBron James in this game, throwing a number of different looks at him and not letting him easily establish himself on the low block (where he hurt them so much in Game 3). LeBron could never get comfortable and shot just 8-of-18, with a game-high 24 points.

But when the defense focuses on him other Heat players need to step up, and on Tuesday night that was spotty. Dwyane Wade had 16 point on 15 shots and looked grounded by his knee. Chris Bosh was 1-of-6. Ray Allen was 4-of-13. The only guy who really stepped up at all was Mario Chalmers who had 20 points on 14 shots.

Miami shot 39 percent for the game. That is not going to get it done.

Especially since they can’t seem to stop the Pacers’ offense, which is really the story of this series.

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Indiana was the 19th best offense in the NBA averaging just 101.6 points per 100 possessions this season, but Tuesday night they had an offensive rating of 120. For the series now they are up to 111.3 points per 100 possessions. That would have been the best in the league during the regular season (besting the Heat’s 110.3). Indiana has stepped up their offense, found ways to score on the Heat, and that is by far the biggest surprise of this series.

While Indiana raced out to that early 11-0 lead the Heat had come back and taken a small lead by the middle of the quarter. For the rest of the game things were pretty close, although it often felt like the Pacers were playing better and just couldn’t pull away. It was a one-point game at halftime, 49-48, despite the fact the Pacers shot 50 percent to Heat’s 39.5 percent. Miami was hanging around but not knocking down the shots they needed (they were 1-14 in first half from midrange).

Indiana also withstood the Heat charges. Miami went on a 9-0 run early in the third quarter, hitting 5-of-7 shots to open the third. But Indiana answered back with 10-0 run of their own with Paul George dishing and David West knocking down midrange shots.

Hibbert finished with 23 points and 12 boards but he got the kind of help from his teammates LeBron did not — 20 from Stephenson, 19 from George Hill and a solid 14 from David West.

The crucial question for Game 5 will be one we didn’t expect to ask — can the Heat stop the Pacers?

  1. miamatt - May 29, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Could somebody let me know when the weather turns fair again so I can be an NBA fan?

    Seriously though, another good win for the Pacers, and all the trimmings of one-game overractions once again. Pacers are a tough team, and Miami is vulnerable when they don’t play to their identity and Wade is less than a superstar.

    And Heat fans, lets not go blaming officials, none of us like it when somebody attempts to discredit a Miami win with ref-whine BS. I do think there were too many whistles as a whole, but it didn’t benefit one team in particular. When the game ges down to the last minute, you run the risk of a big call having an impact. It is what it is.

    Great series for all fans.

    • jollyjoker2 - May 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      Its a good series if Indiana can win game 5 , than I know they are for real. Not that they will win the series, but it will be fun watching miami work to come back.

  2. trimaster1 - May 30, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    This is a great series. I think people are expecting the Heat to just roll over all their opponents and go undefeated in the playoffs.

    Not so fast.

    Even the Jordan led Bulls had some tough matchups in the playoffs. In actuality, that’s what the playoffs are all about; the matchups. Some teams fare better than others because they pose matchup problems. For example, The Knicks battled the Bulls to 7 games in the playoffs one year, the Utah jazz took them to 6, Portland, Phoenix, etc.

    The Bulls never swept a team in the Finals. Think about that for a minute.

    With that said, people need to relax and enjoy the series and save all judgement until it’s OVER. I originally predicted the heat in 5, but if they win in 6 or 7 it’s still a win over a tough opponent. This is why teams try get home court.

    If the Pacers DO win, kudos to them, because they are playing their hearts out.

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