The Indiana Pacers rallied in the closing minutes of the first half to take a 53-47 lead into halftime of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Pacers came out firing like a team that knows they let Game 1 get away from them. Led by Roy Hibbert's 10 first quarter points, Indiana stormed out to a 26-16 lead late in the opening session.
The Heat didn't stay down for long. Sparked by the contagious energy of Chris Andersen and a couple of long jumpers from Chris Bosh, Miami eventually tied the game up midway through the second quarter at 37-37.
Just as soon as Miami clawed back, they went cold from the floor. Shots suddenly weren't falling, and coach Erik Spoelstra went as far as to bring Mike Miller off the bench. Miller was able to drill a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to six.
The Pacers appear to be in control of the game. The pace favors them, and they've really dug in on the defensive end. Now it's just a matter of weathering the storm when the Heat inevitably make their push in the second half.
Prior to Game 2, Drew Garrison focused on a couple of key aspects for tonight's game.
The Pacers' turnovers
Indiana struggled with turnovers throughout the season, and they might've just cost them the first game of the series as they gave the ball away 20 times. The Heat capitalized, scoring 18 mostly-easy points off their giveaways. At the half, the Pacers have just eight turnovers, including just one combined from guards George Hill and Lance Stephenson. If Indiana is able to limit their giveaways in the second half, they'll have a serious shot at evening the series.
Arguably the most controversial decision of the playoffs thus far was Frank Vogel's benching of Roy Hibbert during the final few possessions of Game 1. In the early going of tonight's showdown, Hibbert has made a big impact on both ends of the floor.
He has a team-high 19 points for the Pacers, going 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Defensively, he's locked down the paint and has held Miami to just 14 points in the lane after surrendering 60 in the last meeting. If the score is close once again in the closing minutes, look for Hibbert to be on the floor for every single possession.
LeBron James doing it all
LeBron was just about unstoppable on Wednesday night, posting a triple-double in a winning effort. He continued to pick the Pacers vaunted defense apart in the first half, scoring 15 points, dishing out three assists and bringing down two rebounds.
Surprisingly, though, the Heat made their run in the second quarter with LeBron on the bench. Once he returned, they went cold from the field.