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News  


NBA EAST SEMIS -- Miami turns up the heat on Indy, takes Game 1


PhilBoxing.com




LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James showed all and sundry why he was this year's runaway MVP.

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound juggernaut stuffed the stat sheets with 32 points, five assists and two steals to lead the Miami Heat past the Indiana Pacers, 95-86, in Game1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday afternoon at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.

James, who snatched his third MVP award in four years last Saturday, drilled 12 of 26 field goals and made 8 of 10 free throws. He missed all three of his 3-point attempts and commited a single turnover.

"I made a conscious effort in the second half to rebound the ball more. Indiana does a good job of rebounding the ball, so I wanted to do my best to help the team," James told the Miami Herald.

James, who played the entire second half and 43 minutes overall, grabbed 15 rebounds as the Heat won the battle of the boards, 45-38.

With their size and speed, the No.3 seeded Pacers held their ground against the No.2 seeded Heat. Indiana led 23-20 after one quarter and 48-42 at the halftime break. The game was knotted at 70-70 at the end of the third quarter, and that's when Miami went to work, tightened their defense, and scored 25 fourth quarter points to pocket Game1.

Game 2 of this best-of-seven affair is Tuesday night at the AAA.

Dwyane Wade had a tough day shooting the ball. missing 15 of 23 field goals, but thanks to 13 of 14 free throws made, he finished with 29 points. He also had four assists, a steal and a shotblock.

Chris Bosh, the other piece of Miami's dreaded Big Three, played only for 16 minutes due a lower abdominal strain. Bosh tallied 13 points and five rebounds for Miami, which converted only 33 of 81 field goals (40.7 percent).

Indiana didn't shoot the ball well, either -- 31 of 77 (40.3 percent) including 4 of 17 beyond the arc.

But Roy Hibbert and David West were huge, combining for 34 points on 12-of-24 shooting. Darren Collison and George Hill had 10 points each while Danny Granger was held to seven points, missing 9 of 10 shots.

"Definitely not our best game," lamented Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, who was recently fined $15,000 by the NBA for calling the Heat the league's "biggest floppers."

"We didn't shoot it very well. It came down to execution in the fourth quarter, and you've got to give credit to Miami's defense," added Vogel," added Vogel. (Ryan Medida)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ryan Medida.


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