It took a few games, but Miami finally takes the Pacers seriously. For a while, LeBron and D-Wade spent their down time mocking Danny Granger and making fun of his tough guy antics. Now they’re swinging back, and that’s the greatest sign of flattery. With the series tied at two, and the Pacers bringing their physicality to South Beach, the Heat’s two biggest stars showed out again, combining for 58 points and leading the Heat to a convincing 115-83 win to take a 3-2 lead. James is on another planet in this series, and kept it up last night with 30 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists on just 19 shots while Wade dropped 28 and three or four replay-worthy shots. Seventy-nine percent of the time with a series tied 2-2, the home team goes on to take the series, and Miami sent a message to everyone else in the East: we’re still the team to beat … Early on, Shane Battier (13 points) was balling. He had two triples in the first two minutes after having two triples in the series’ first 192 minutes (he’d hit another one before the first quarter was over… and then gave everyone the first ever Shane Battier heat-check). In fact, all of South Beach was into it. LeBron was active, and banged a long three at the end of the first quarter. Mario Chalmers wasn’t being stupid. Even the crowd was in their seats for the first quarter (no small feat). After four and a half minutes, the Pacers had to take a timeout down 12-5. They looked bewildered and lost, nothing like the squad that had a stranglehold on a possible 3-1 lead in the first half of Game 4. In fact, 15 of Miami’s first 19 points came from people outside of James and Wade. At one point, Mike Miller even hit the floor for a loose ball, which was like seeing a ghost. We’re surprised he didn’t crumble … Miami finished the first half with a flurry, a 9-2 run to go up 49-40, capped off by a LeBron windmill, and then a LeBron fast-break layup. Granger then had to leave in the opening minutes of the third quarter, and it was pretty much a wrap from there … Wade was making incredible shots all night. In the second quarter, he hit two straight off the glass that looked like something out of Billy Hoyle‘s bag of tricks. Then in the third as the Heat started to open up the lead past 10, Wade had a three-point play where he went up, under and around about three Pacers. He’s still right there with Kobe as the best “crazy” shot-maker in the league. The third quarter is actually when the Heat put the kids to bed, with Miami finishing off a 21-7 spurt to go up 16. LeBron had one quarterback pass to Wade that forced the Pacers to call a timeout, part of a run that saw those two score 21 out of 25 for Miami … Keep reading to hear about one of the best Metta World Peace quotes ever …
During the first five games of the series, the Pacers were a plus-30 with Roy Hibbert (12 rebounds) on the court. Well last night, he really didn’t do anything in the first half outside of making a miraculous 25-footer. Part of that was Indiana. We weren’t sure what they were doing in the first half, outside of taking low-percentage shots in the lane. And Danny Granger was just as invisible, content to take four of his six shots from beyond the arc. The last one sent him to the locker room after he came down on James’ foot and rolled his ankle … One thing we have to point out again is the overreaction from everyone on cuts to the face. Wade was smacked in the face by Psycho T during the first half last night and his face opened up. Hansbrough was called for a flagrant because Wade’s face opened up, even though he went for the ball and hit the face on the swing through. Do some of these people realize how easy it is to cut your face in basketball? Hell, in anything? Opening someone’s face up is not that hard. Then a few minutes later, Udonis Haslem actually DID take out Psycho with a judo chop from both hands onto his face. Of course, both fouls were rated exactly the same in the eyes of the refs. That makes sense. If that had been Metta hitting Hansbrough like that, they would’ve locked him up on the spot and given him a flagrant-12 … According to Mike Wells, Larry Bird said this after the game: “I can’t believe my team went soft. S-O-F-T. I’m disappointed. I never thought it would happen.” Wow … And who caught this unreal soundbite from Metta World Peace yesterday? In his exit interview, he defended Laker coach Mike Brown by saying: “Mike wasn’t out there guarding Kevin [Durant]. That was me. Kevin scored on me. Mike didn’t miss that 3-point shot. I missed it. Mike didn’t come into camp out of shape.” The he hesitated before saying, “Wait … he did come in out of shape. Mike is a fat ass.” … Metta also continued to say the Lakers were the best team in the NBA and that “the best team in the league should be up 3-2 right now.” Okay dude … We’re out like Granger.
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