NBA Playoffs 2014 - Eastern Conference Finals Betting Odds - Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers - Game 3
For the most of the first three quarters, The Pacers maintained the same type of intensity that they had in game 1. Lance Stephenson was in the midst of his second straight spectacular game. The Pacers defense was doing a tremendous all around job, especially on Lebron James who had 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists with 2 and a half minutes left in the third quarter and his team trailing 60-54. He started with a smooth 19-foot jump shot. He then assisted on consecutive drive and kick three pointers to Chris Bosh and Norris Cole. By the end of the third the Heat had closed to within 1 point. Lebron proceeded to dominate the fourth quarter. By the end of the game he had scored 14 of his 22 points, 3 of his 7 rebounds, and 4 of his 6 assists in the games final 14 minutes, including the game clinching alley oop pass to Dwayne Wade in the teams 87-83 win that even the series at 1-1 and set up a best of 5 series headed into Miami in game 3.
The Pacers were led by Stephenson, who had yet another dominant performance with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in a game high 44 minutes. He was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal offensive performance for the team. Paul George did a strong defensive job on James, however he struggled all night, in particularly early in the game when Miami was struggling and some made baskets would have opened up a big early lead. He finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists, however he was 4-16 from the field and that is not what the Pacers need out of their star. Roy Hibbert had 12 points and 13 rebounds, however he was sloppy wit the ball all night and struggled to catch post entry passes on multiple occasions. George Hill had 13 points and 5 rebounds. David West had 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. The entire Pacers bench combined for 9 total points. For a team that struggles to score it seems odd that Pacers Coach Frank Vogel would elect to give minutes to Rasual Butler as opposed to Chris Copeland who has shown the ability to score if nothing else.
Miami was treated to a vintage Dwayne Wade performance. He seemed to have some extra bounce in his step from the beginning of the game on while finishing with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Other than the two stars there were dismal performances by the other starters including another disappointing performance from Chris Bosh. The team overall was a combined -38 with Bosh, Udonis Haslem, and Mario Chalmers on the court. Compared to a bench that was a combined +59 between Cole, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, and Chris Anderson. Cole had 11 points while Anderson had 11 big rebounds and did a strong defensive job on Hibbert.
Game 3 in Miami will be a matter of which team can play the most complete game. James and Wade have been consistent throughout the playoffs while the same cannot be said for anybody on the Pacers. Indiana will need a star performance from George and better shooting from the players around him if they want to steal a game back on the road.
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