Pacers Push Past Heat 78-75, Series Tied 1-1

David West notched a double-double and would score the game winning bucket while the Indiana Pacers held the Miami Heat scoreless for the last 2:51 of the game, as Indiana held off the Heat in game two of their Eastern Conference semi-final series, winning the game 78-75 and knotting up the series at one game apiece. The victory for the Pacers took away Miami’s home-court advantage in the match-up with the action moving to Indiana for the next two contests.

The Heat were playing without Chris Bosh who is out indefinitely with a strained abdominal muscle and although LeBron James knocked down a game high 28 points while Dwyane Wade added 24 in the contest; none of the other members of the roster stepped up to fill in the void. The club shot an anemic 34.6% (27-78) and while they stayed in the contest until the end of the action; they were unable to close the game out with Bosh on the sidelines. Their task will become even harder in game three as they play in front of a charged-up audience of Pacers fans.

The home team trailed mid-way through the opening period, with the visitors holding a 16-9 edge after George Hill drove the lane putting the ball in the hoop with 5:33 remaining. Shane Battier and James would put the Heat out front 21-17 at the conclusion of the quarter as each hit a pair at the line down the stretch.

Miami appeared poised to take over the proceedings as they jumped on top 29-21 when Wade hit a pair at the charity stripe with 8:14 left in the second. That would not be the case as the home team only scored another nine points in the rest of the period, however they still held a 38-33 advantage as the two teams went to their locker rooms at the half.

Indiana guard Paul George would put his team ahead 48-46 during the third as he drained a 25 foot trey and followed that up slamming the ball through the cylinder with 5:50 to play in the period. The Pacers would hold the lead at the end of the quarter by a 61-52 margin as Leandro Barbosa drove the lane putting the rock in the hole with 58 seconds remaining. Miami had one run left in the tank and briefly held the upper hand with 4:11 left in the contest as Wade knocked down an outside jumper making it a 72-71 contest. Barbosa would grab the lead back for Indiana 15 seconds later and the visitors held on for the win.

The two opponents will head to Indiana as they will take to the hardwood Thursday night for game three of the match-up with the series tied at 1-1.

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