As ESPN color commentator Jeff Van Gundy brilliantly quipped, Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson was “straight ballin’” in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night. For the first three quarters, Brooklyn’s “Born Ready” was the best player on the floor, making his impact known on virtually every square-inch of the court. Whether it was one of his multiple and-one plays, his phenomenal halftime buzzer-beating tip-in, or his defensive presence, it was the Lance Stephenson show for the first 36 minutes of Game 2.
Just as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade took over in the fourth quarter, Stephenson’s third quarter, in particular, was a performance to marvel at for any basketball fan. Playing all 12 minutes in the third, Born Ready scored 10 of his total 25 points (tied his career-high in the playoffs), while dishing out two of his seven assists and grabbing three of his six rebounds.
Pacers head coach Frank Vogel talked about Stephenson’s impact in the third quarter after Indiana’s 83-87 loss, saying:
“He was either making a big shot or finding somebody seemingly on every possession during that stretch in the third quarter,” Vogel said. “He was great.”
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra explained how Stephenson affected his team:
“He was really hurting us getting into the paint and just putting pressure on our entire defense.”
However, Stephenson’s aggressiveness and energy began to wan as the third quarter drew to a close, even resulting in Lance lying on the floor as if he was dead after a late third quarter flop.
Some glorious memes ensued on Twitter:
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) May 21, 2014
Stephenson appeared completely out of gas in the fourth quarter, as Indiana could not prevent Miami’s late rally. The 23-year-old Brooklyn native simply needed more help, and the Heat were able to even up the series before heading back to Miami for Saturday’s Game 3. Still, Stephenson’s a restricted free agent this summer, and he’s turning a lot of head’s with this play through the first two games of the Conference Finals.
(via CBS Sports)
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