NBA Playoffs: Pacers Cool Heat Late To Even Series, 78-75

The Pacers pulled even in their second-round series, holding the Heat scoreless for nearly three minutes to end the game.

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LeBron James' Missed Free-Throws Not All That Led To Pacers Win In Miami

The Miami Heat lost to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night in what can probably be called an upset despite the narrow 78-75 margin of victory. The national media's narrative will likely put the majority of the loss on LeBron James' shoulders for missing free-throws in clutch situations, but the Pacers' simply executed their gameplan better than Miami (and it didn't hurt that Chris Bosh was out, either).

The Heat simply were outplayed, really, as SB Nation's experts will attest to -- both those on the Heat side as well as those in Indiana. Our friends over at Peninsula Is Mightier noted that James' missed free-throws were a big deal, but not the biggest deal when it came down to it.

Critics will immediately jump on LeBron for missing 3 of 4 free throws in the closing minutes of the game, but in truth the Heat wouldn't have had a chance if it wasn't for what he and Wade did to keep the Heat close, who were trailing since the midway point of the third quarter. The team only mustered 14 points in the third quarter with a flat offense that featured little to no ball movement and zero creativity.

SB Nation's Pacers blog, Indy Cornrows, also downplayed the missed free-throws as it instead focused on the defensive effort of the Pacers ... and all-around struggles from the Heat earlier in the game.

Mario Chalmers ended up with the game tying shot, a miss, as time ran out on the Miami Heat comeback, giving the Indiana Pacers a huge satisfying win they desperately tried to give away at numerous points. Even though all of the talking points will revolve around the LeBron James' missed free throws, the third quarter was huge. The Pacers defense deserves credit for this win. It wasn't perfect, but it did a superb job forcing everything through James and Wade (even forcing them into jump shots galore) and effectively shutting down their entire roster.

Indiana played poorly, but got enough from its roster to come away with a win on a night it appeared the Heat couldn't possibly play any worse. The Heat finished up at 35 percent, 1-17 from three-point range, getting 52 of the team's 75 total points from James and Wade. While it doesn't appear the Heat can really play any worse, the good news is that Indiana can continue to wear down those two and hopefully continue to win in the series.

It will be interesting to see where Game 3 of the series is headed and, regardless of the outcome of the series, there's a good chance James and Co. aren't going to want it to be decided by free-throws -- even if that isn't why they lost on Tuesday night.

For more on the Pacers, head over to Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana. For more on the Heat, check out Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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For The Miami Heat, No Chris Bosh Means Big Problems

The Miami Heat lost Game 2 against the Pacers Tuesday, and with Chris Bosh's injury keeping him out indefinitely, the struggles for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade may not end there.

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Heat Vs. Pacers, 2012 NBA Playoffs Game 2: Final Score, Indiana Holds On For 78-75 Win

The Indiana Pacers have pulled off a surprise split on South Beach, proving that they won't be a pushover for the Miami Heat. Following a hard-fought Game 1 at AmericanAirlines Arena, Indiana were better in the closing minutes of Game 2, hanging on for a 78-75 win.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had solid games for the Heat, but both struggled down the stretch and couldn't convert on great scoring opportunities when they were handed to them. James finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, six steals and five assists, but missed two crucial free throws with 54 seconds remaining while the Pacers led by one point. On the Heat's next possession, which followed a lengthy Pacers possession extended by an offensive rebound, Wade missed a driving layup.

The Pacers went to the line twice in the closing seconds, but couldn't put the game away. Roy Hibbert and George Hill made one of two free throws in their trips to the line at the end of the game, keeping the Heat in a one-possession game even though they didn't score in the final two minutes.

Hill's missed second free throw ended up in the backcourt after a deflection while both teams were fighting for the rebound, and Hill stepped out of bounds trying to save it, giving possession to Miami with eight seconds remaining. Erik Spoelstra surprisingly drew up the final shot for Mario Chalmers, who got a clean look at a three-pointer, but missed. The Heat couldn't come up with a second-chance attempt and the Pacers are heading home with a 1-1 split.

For more on the Pacers, head over to Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana. For more on the Heat, check out Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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Heat Vs. Pacers, 2012 NBA Playoffs Game 2: Halftime, Miami Leads Low-Scoring Game

Do you like defense? Boy, do we have plenty of defense. The Miami Heat lead the Indiana Pacers 38-33 at halftime in Game 2 of their series, and until Indiana started hitting threes in the closing minutes, the half appeared to be on a track to be the most offensively dismal half of basketball in this year's playoffs, which is saying a lot.

Without Chris Bosh, the Heat are using LeBron James as a power forward on a regular basis, as well as at the point. He's having a fantastic game, even if his stats don't reflect it. He has 12 points, but just three assists. He's probably created at least 10 wide-open shots for his teammates, which they missed with an impressive degree of consistency in the first half. Dwyane Wade has nine points on 3-8 shooting.

Roy Hibbert should theoretically be putting up big numbers offensively, but he hasn't scored a field goal since there was 10:48 remaining in the first quarter. Danny Granger has only made two field goals, and one of them was a layup off of an offensive rebound. This is just generally a poor offensive game, and it would be super if someone could start making uncontested mid-range jumpers with any kind of regularity.

For more on the Pacers, head over to Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana. For more on the Heat, check out Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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