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.