With Dwyane Wade in a grey suit on the sidelines resting his sore foot, the Miami Heat had to make do with just LeBron James and Chris Bosh, who picked up the slack nicely in a 118-83 rout of the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night.
James and Bosh combined to shoot 19-32 from the field and 17-19 from the free throw line for 55 combined points. James also provided eight rebounds and 13 assists and made it look easy all night long.
While it was easy for those guys, the Pacers used Roy Hibbert inside to score and keep the game tied going into the last two minutes of the first quarter. Hibbert scored seven and Paul George hit two threes and scored eight but what was good soon turned bad for the Pacers in the second quarter.
Upsetting a team like the Heat, especially in Miami, means not making many mistakes. In handing the Heat their first loss of the season, also in Miami, the Atlanta Hawks turned the ball over only 10 times and allowed only 13 points from those turnovers.
The Pacers, in what would turn out to be the deciding second quarter, turned the ball over 10 times in that quarter alone, leading to 10 Heat points. For the game, the Pacers turned the ball over a whopping 23 times, providing the Heat with 28 points off those turnovers and plenty of transition offense, a Heat favorite.
When the Pacers weren't getting shots because of turnovers, the ones they did end up taking in the second quarter were off the mark -- way off the mark. Indiana took 15 shots and made a single one. One solitary shot off the hands of Lou Amundson went through the hoop and the rest of the Pacers shot 0-13 on their way to a miserable 12 points for the entire quarter.
The Heat, in contrast, scored 33 points to take control of the game, with James leading the way. In the first half alone, James was responsible for shooting 6-11 for 14 points, and had six rebounds and seven assists.
When the bell rung after halftime, the Pacers made a valiant 17-5 run, but James put 12 more points on the board in the quarter, on his way to his game high 33. After the Heat closed the third with an 11-1 run, stretching the lead back out to 22, the game was never again in doubt.
While the game was a blowout, it still provided some interesting statistical information:
Miami set franchise records for lowest opponent field goal percentage in a quarter, yielding only 6.7 percent there in the second.
The Heat also set a franchise record for fewest field goals allowed in a quarter, with Amundson's bucket being the only one.
LeBron, who has attempted an average of 4.1 three point shots attempted per game for his career, again took zero, leaving him only with a single attempted three for the season (vs. Minnesota on December with 1:17 left in the game and the Heat down two).
Tyler Hansbrough played the role of the pitcher in a blowout that the manager leaves in the game, ERA be darned. Hansbrough posted an impressive -43 for the game, despite making 10-11 free throws throughout the contest.
David Dwork at Peninsula is Mightier tells of the LeBron James injury that had/has Heat fans scared:
Heat players and fans got a very scary moment in the 3rd quarter when LeBron James went to the ground clutching his left ankle after stepping on Pacers guard Paul George's foot while attempting a layup. James stayed down for what felt like the longest few seconds in the world, but got up and started walking off the injury. He started out limping but would end up staying in the game and resuming his dominant form.
And even when Indiana tried to do the smart thing, whether it was a hard foul on LeBron or trying some zone defense against the Heat, Tom Lewis from Indy Cornrows says that nothing could get the Pacers back on track.
Nothing the Pacers tried work, including when they broke character and tried some zone defense, a common tactic used against the Heat. Although the zone usually works better with Dwyane Wade on the floor. Wade has only shot one three-pointer all year and LeBron has kept his game inside the arc this year as well. But when the Pacers were in a zone, sharp-shooter James Jones was on the floor...salivating. Jones made 4 of 8 three-pointers when left open for the game and Mario Chalmers joined in to make a couple of 3's, as well which turned the Pacers zone to mush.