The Miami Heat were down by as many as 11 points in the first half, but went on a 13-5 run to end the second quarter as the Indiana Pacers hold a narrow lead, 48-47, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.
Miami looked like the more desperate team late in the half as they stifled Indiana and held them to 22 points in the second quarter.
LeBron James was just 3-of-10 from the field, but managed to score 11 points to lead the Heat, including the final bucket to pull within one. Dwyane Wade has struggled to this point, with just five points on 2-of-6 shooting, including a wide-open missed layup in the first quarter.
Roy Hibbert is taking advantage of the Heat's weakness inside and is having his way with the opposing frontcourt. The Pacers' big man is already approaching a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds. George Hill added 12 points. Paul George struggled to stay on the floor and had three points and three fouls in just 14 minutes of action.
Miami was outrebounded by a margin of 21-17, which was offset by seven Pacers turnovers against just three by the Heat.
Indiana got off to a quick start early in the first, with local product Hill scoring seven of Indiana's first nine points. The Pacers may have got off to a fast start with an 11-0 run, but ended with just a four-point advantage to close out the first 12 minutes. Hill finished with 10 points in the frame, while George finished with just three points and three turnovers.
SB Nation's own Jonathan Tjarks put together a comprehensive preview of Game 4's action and asked some good questions that are worth looking into once again at the half:
1. Do the Pacers send help on LeBron's post-ups?
James forced George's hand by going right back to the low post and sent the Pacers' swingman into early foul trouble. George did all he could by trying to deny James the ball to prevent a recurrence of Game 3's issue.
Unfortunately, when denying the ball the way he did, a player runs the risk of getting into foul trouble -- that's exactly what happened with George. Still, LeBron is struggling, but that shouldn't continue.
2. Can Miami's shooters knock down open shots?
Miami is sub-40 percent where they need to be better. With 22 points in the paint, a respectable number for this group, they haven't had to settle for too many jumpers.
The Heat shot 39 percent from the field and 38 percent from the three-point line. Part of their challenge in that area has come from Indiana showcasing its formidable team defense and closing out on the shooters.
3. Will Paul George have a bounce-back game?
So far, James has single-handedly taken him out of the game with his low-post prowess. George is at a size disadvantage that forced him to be physical and pick-up two quick fouls. The third was on a bang-bang play when he collided with Chris Andersen while fighting through a high screen. That took his rhythm away and caused him to get off to a slow start.
After finishing with three first-half points, he'll need a big final 24 minutes in order to make up for it.
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