The Miami Heat have responded well to a tough home loss in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, leading the Indiana Pacers 70-56 at halftime of Game 3. The 70 first-half points set a Heat franchise playoff record.
David West has dominated down low, scoring 16 points for Indiana. The Pacers shot 50.0 percent from the field, but it has not been good enough to stay with Miami.
Both teams burst out of the gates quick, as the Heat led 20-19 midway through the first quarter. The scoring only slowed somewhat the rest of the quarter, with Miami holding a 34-30 lead after one.
The Heat pushed their lead out to 10 at the outset of the second quarter, and they were able to keep a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the half.
Rodger Sherman looked at some keys heading into this pivotal Game 3.
Can the Heat stop the Pacers' bigs?
West got off to a fast start against Udonis Haslem, making his first three shots and finishing the opening quarter with eight points. Roy Hibbert matched that total while also adding four rebounds. West continued his strong play in the second quarter, and he finished the half with 16 points and five rebounds. Hibbert had 13 points and six rebounds at the break.
Who wins the turnover battle?
The game was crisp in the early going, with just three combined turnovers in the first 11-plus minutes of the game. The Heat finished the opening frame with just one turnover, while some sloppiness late in the quarter gave the Pacers four after one.
Miami took great care of the ball in the second quarter as well, not committing a single turnover. Indiana had just two turnovers in the second quarter to finish the half with six.
Can the non-Big Three create anything for Miami?
The Heat got some excellent contributions from Haslem and Mario Chalmers at the outset of the game. Haslem knocked down his first four shots and Chalmers had four points before the first timeout, helping the Heat grab an early lead without James doing much. Haslem returned after his first stint to score five more points.
Chris Andersen continues to play well, scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds in the half. Andersen has now made 15 straight shots in the postseason.
Ray Allen was quiet for most of the half, but he did hit a three late in the first half that put the Heat up 14.