In a game that was close throughout, the Miami Heat closed the deal.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined to score 22 4th quarter points, and the Heat evened the Eastern Conference Finals at one game apiece with a 87-83 win in game two.
The series now shifts to Miami. Game 3 is set for Saturday with tip-off set for just after 8:30pm.
With 5 minutes to go in the 4th, the Pacers had a 75-72 lead, but Miami went on a 10-0 run over the next 3 minutes to take a 7-point lead and pull away.
James saved his best for last scoring 12 of his 22 points in the final frame, as did Wade who had 10 of his team high 23 points in the 4th.
The Pacers got out to an early 8-point first quarter lead, but the Heat battled back to trail by 1 after one.
In the 2nd, Miami’s hot play continued as the Heat took an 8-point lead of their own with 1:07 left. A buzzer beating tip-in by Lance Stephenson cut Miami’s lead to 4 entering half-time.
Led by Stephenson and his 10 3rd quarter points, the Pacers jumped out to a 60-54 lead with 2:59 left in the 3rd. Chris Bosh and Norris Cole answered with back-to-back three’s and the Heat trailed by one heading into the 4th.
Stephenson then cooled down significantly scoring just 2 4th quarter points after scoring 23 in quarters 1-3, while Dwyane Wade and LeBron James played at their best leading Miami to victory.
The Heat received huge sparks from Chris Anderson and Norris Cole off the bench. Anderson had a game best +25 and hauled in a team high 12 rebounds. Cole added 11 points on 3/4 shooting. In total, Miami’s bench outscored the Pacers 20-9.
Chris Bosh wasn’t great, but he was better than he was in game one. Bosh finally hit a 3, and scored 9 points on 4/9 shooting.
Paul George simply did not have it for Indiana. George shot just 1/11 (9%) in the first half, and finished the game with 14 points 4/16 shooting. David West battled foul trouble throughout scoring 10 points on 5/16 from the field.
Roy Hibbert played pretty well. He recorded his first double-digit rebounding game of the playoffs, but didn’t have as big an impact down the stretch as he had in game one.
Expect to see a lot more of Chris Anderson going forward in this series. Anderson did an unbelievable job defensively, and was huge in neutralizing Hibbert on the glass.
Look for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to continue riding Anderson as this series continues.