INDIANA PACERS at MIAMI HEAT
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Miami -7 & 181
Indiana gets its second chance at a win on the road in Miami on Friday after LeBron James’ buzzer-beater spoiled the upset bid in Game 1.
The Pacers had everything going for them in Game 1, but they just couldn’t come away with a victory towards the end. With 2.2 seconds left in the overtime, Dwyane Wade fouled Paul George on a three-pointer. George made all three free throws to put Indiana up 102-101, but LeBron James answered by scoring on a layup a as time expired to give Miami a 103-102 victory in Game 1. The Pacers out-rebounded the Heat by a margin of five in the game (43-38), but they just could not stop James, who had a triple-double. Pacers head coach Frank Vogel elected to sit his best shot-blocker, C Roy Hibbert, on the game’s final play leaving James a wide open driving lane to the basket. The Heat failed to cover and are now just 1-4 ATS in their past five home games, but Indiana hasn’t been much better on the road, going just 3-7 ATS in its past 10 games played away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers have not been a good road team this season at 21-26 SU (23-24 ATS), which includes an 8-17 ATS mark (32%) when they visit a winning team. Miami, on the other hand, improved to 42-5 SU (89.4%) at home this season, but just 24-23 ATS at AmericanAirlines Arena. However, this club is an insane 46-3 SU (94%) and 31-18 ATS (63%) in its past 49 games since Feb. 3.
PF David West was the best player on the floor for the Pacers in Game 1, finishing with 26 points (11-of-17 FG) and five rebounds in 41 minutes. SF Paul George, who hit the three free throws that gave the Pacers a lead late, had a team-high 27 points (7-of-16 FG, 3-of-6 threes, 10-of-11 FT), five assists and four rebounds in 47 minutes. C Roy Hibbert also played a very good game for Indiana, finishing with 19 points (9-of-18 FG), nine rebounds and two blocks in 41 minutes. Indiana’s frontcourt was dominant in the game, but the backcourt will need to improve if this team is going to beat the Heat in this series. PG George Hill and SG Lance Stephenson combined to shoot just 4-of-19 FG and a combined 0-for-7 on threes. Although Hill had seven assists and five steals while Stephenson pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds with three steals, these guards must be able to hit shots, and luckily for them, it is unlikely they shoot that poorly again.
Erik Spoelstra drew up a play that got SF LeBron James one-on-one with Paul George with tons of open floor space with two seconds left and James got to the rim and finished with a layup as the buzzer expired. In the game, James did it all with 30 points (12-of-24 FG), 10 assists, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 47 minutes. SG Dwyane Wade also played one of his best games of the playoffs, finishing with 19 points (9-of-15 FG), six rebounds and five assists. Wade also played great defense as he finished the game with three steals before fouling out with 2.2 seconds left in overtime. PF Chris Bosh added 17 points and two blocks for Miami, as he anchored the defense down low that the Pacers had no trouble scoring on. Bosh will need to do a better job defensively in Game 2, otherwise the Heat will have to use PF Chris Andersen for more minutes. Andersen played an unbelievable Game 1, finishing with 16 points (7-of-7 FG) and five rebounds while not missing a shot.