After a Game 1 loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat are showing signs of asserting themselves. The Heat took Game 3, as well as a 2-1 series lead with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade being the main reasons once again, two players that have lifted their teams as individuals from the early part of their respective careers, playing in harmony to remind everyone, particularly the Pacers, that they’re not letting the NBA title go from their fingers easily. James scored 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the floor and 7-for-9 from the charity stripe, five rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Wade was right there with him at 23 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Not surprisingly, James led the Miami Heat with a +24 plus/minus. Wade was at a +9, and Rashard Lewis finished second with a +21. Yes, Rashard Lewis. The same one that didn’t score a single point, missing two shots, and a block in 17 minutes. Norris Cole finished third with a +15, playing 33 minutes. This speaks highly to how well the Miami Heat are doing right now as those off the pine are contributing significantly. Kind of sounds like their colleagues out west and last year’s NBA Finals opponent, the San Antonio Spurs. Things seem like they’ll be repeating themselves this season, doesn’t it?
After all of the criticisms during the regular season and the constant wave of “haters” trying to batter down the wall of the Heat’s success since LeBron James joined the team, the Heat have found their championship selves during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. And this is proven through how they’ve been dominating during the postseason, only losing two games out of the 12 they’ve played. And while the past several games have had close moments, which the Heat have taken, against the Brooklyn Nets and in Game 3 versus the Pacers, the Heat have come through with the W.
The Pacers jumped out to a double-digit lead from the beginning of the game and led 21-14 after the first quarter after a small comeback by the Heat, who kept eating into the Pacers’ lead and brought it closer by halftime with the Pacers leading 42-38. In the second half, starting with a third quarter thumping, the Miami Heat basically devastated the Pacers defense, scoring 33 points in the third, a mere five points less that what the team scored the whole first half. In the fourth, the Heat scored 28 and finished as the victor, 99-87.
Game 4 goes down on Memorial Day in Miami in primetime at 8:30pm on ESPN.