Ray Allen’s still got game, and he showed it in game 3 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.
After scoring just 3 points and taking one field goal through 3 quarters, Ray Allen exploded in the 4th hitting all 4 of his 3-point attempts and scoring 13 points in Miami’s 99-87 victory.
The Heat now lead the Pacers 2-1. Game 4 is set for Monday night from American Airlines Arena.
The Pacers were the dominant team early, leading by as many as 15 points in the first half. The Heat then took control finishing the half on a 16-5 run and trailing by just 4 at the intermission.
The Heat’s surge continued in the 3rd quarter. Miami took its first lead of the game mid-way through the 3rd, and following a Dwyane Wade 3 with 1.4 seconds left, led by 7 entering the 4th. Wade then opened the 4th with another 3, giving the Heat a 10-point lead.
That’s when Ray Allen took over. After the Pacers got back to within 2 with 8:37 left, Allen answered with his first 3 of the game to put Miami back up 5.
Still leading by 5 with 5:58 to go, Allen hit another 3 extending Miami’s lead to 8. Allen went on a personal 7-0 over a nearly 2-minute span as the Heat took an 11-point lead.
The Heat cruised the rest of the way, building as big as a 17-point lead before winning the game by 12.
LeBron James led all scorers with 26 points, Dwyane Wade had 23, and Allen added 13 of his 16 in the 4th. As a team, the Heat shot 54.4 percent from the field, including 10/18 (55.6% from 3). Chris Bosh and Norris Cole each had 9 points, and Mario Chalmers had 6 points for the Heat.
For the Pacers, Paul George scored 11 of his team high 17 points in the 4th quarter, David West scored 13 points, and Lance Stephenson had 10.
Roy Hibbert had 16 points, but hauled in just 2 rebounds. Both Miami and Indiana each had 29 rebounds, which is an area the Pacers should dominate. If the Heat can continue neutralizing Indiana’s biggest strength, this series will be over fast.
Add the fact the Pacers were extremely sloppy with the basketball, turning the ball over 19 times which led to 26 Heat points, and you have a recipe for a Miami victory.
So many things went against the Pacers in this game that have to change. Indiana has to play much better defense, take much better care of the basketball, dominate the boards, and prevent Ray Allen from getting open look after open look.
Right now, the Heat are in the driver’s seat to win this series.