The Miami Heat were not the most gracious of guests on Tuesday night as they went into the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and pummeled their hosts the Indiana Pacers from the opening period on and won by a final score of 105-90; which looks a lot closer than the game really was. Miami held a 17 point advantage at the conclusion of the first period; wold be ahead by 29 points when the game reached the half and held a 33 point lead as the third quarter drew to a close. They would then coast through the final 12 minutes as the Pacers did their best to make the final box score less embarrassing.
The Heat shot 50% (35-70) from the floor with LeBron James knocking down a game high 23 points while rookie guard Norris Cole came off the bench and dropped 20 points in the win. This victory will put their club in the record books as they became the first team in the Association to win three straight road games in three straight nights in ironically 33-years. The last team that accomplished that feat were the Phoenix Suns who won three on the road from December 21-23, 1979. The win also ties the franchise’s best start as they now have a record of 23-7.
Pacers starting guard Darren Collison completed a layup for the first two points of the game and it would be the last time on Tuesday night that they would hold the lead. With 4:45 in the period Dwyane Wade would drive the lane scooping the ball up and in and giving his team a 23-9 advantage over their hosts. It would only get worse from there from the Pacers perspective; with 22 seconds remaining James split a pair at the line and Indiana trailed 33-16 at the conclusion of the period.
Indiana’s shooting improved slightly in the second quarter, but it really did not matter as Miami at that point was unstoppable. With two seconds left in the period Udonis Haslem stroked a pair from the charity stripe and as the two clubs headed to their individual locker rooms as the game reached the half the Heat were on top 68-39.
Apparently Pacers bench boss Frank Vogel did not feel his team had been sufficiently punished during the first half so he brought them out for the third quarter. Miami had yet to tire of putting on their offensive clinic and as the buzzer sounded at the conclusion of the quarter Indiana trailed by a score of 90-58. The fourth quarter was truly just 12 minutes of Pacers players padding their stats, as Miami took the period off and still won in a rout.
James dropped 23 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals while Cole came off the bench and scored 20 points, 3 assists and 1 rebound. Wade added 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block while Chris Bosh had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.
David West led the way for Indiana with 14 points, 2 assists, a rebound and a steal for the night. Paul George and A.J. Price both scored 12 points in the game while Tyler Hansbrough added 11 points in the loss. Roy Hibbert and Dahntay Jones each added 10 points in the game. Miami now stands at 23-7 and head to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Friday while Indiana now has a record of 17-11 and they will be in Cleveland on Wednesday night to take on the Cavaliers.