The Miami Heat flat-out dominated every aspect of the game of basketball during their 70-point opening half in Game 3 against the Pacers, putting themselves out of reach early to reassert themselves as the favorite in the series. Indiana managed to close the gap to five points during the third quarter, but their 11-2 run wasn't nearly enough to knock Miami out of rhythm.
In fact, there probably wasn't anything Indiana could have done tonight, as coach Frank Vogel essentially admitted after the game, saying, "If you're not perfect guarding them, they'll do what they did to us tonight."
With that being said, it's safe to wonder whether this series is over if the Pacers have to play perfect defense to have a chance. They've already won a game and came within a LeBron James layup of winning another. How many times can they come close to perfection?
We'll find out as the series goes on, but it seems unlikely the Pacers will be able to match their effort from the first two games moving forward. Perhaps an offseason of steaming and reminiscing will do something to prepare the young Pacers for the playoff grind next season.
LeBron scores 18 as Heat lead Pacers, 70-56 at half. 70 Pts is most Miami has EVER scored in a half in its postseason history.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 27, 2013
Quick thoughts on the Heat dismantling the Pacers sunsent.nl/16jB2BL with just about every Heat player doing his part.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) May 27, 2013
Miami is now 47-4 in its last 51 games.— D∆T PMF (@PMFASVP) May 27, 2013
Prior to tonight, Pacers were 6-0 at home this postseason, w/ an average victory margin of 14 PPG. Miami hands them 1st loss, by EIGHTEEN.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) May 27, 2013
Miami had five turnovers tonight. In Game 2, LeBron had five of his own, two costly ones down stretch. He didn't commit a turnover tonight.— DeAntae Prince (@DeAntae) May 27, 2013
Miami wins 114-96 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Hold Indiana to 39.7 percent shooting. Haslem, Andersen huge in support roles.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 27, 2013
every Miami possession Paul George's conscience is yelling "please Lord don't let them pass the ball to LeBron in the post"— Cuffs The Legend (@CuffsTheLegend) May 27, 2013
This game could confirm our hunch all along, that nobody in the East is beating Miami this year.— Shaun Powell (@Powell2daPeople) May 27, 2013
"If you're not perfect guarding them, they'll do what they did to us tonight." Coach Vogel twitter.com/Pacers/status/…— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) May 27, 2013
LeBron and the Heat bounce back with a huge 114-96 win in Game 3 against the Pacers. twitter.com/USATODAYsports…— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) May 27, 2013
Pacers fan struggle face twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 27, 2013
Pobrecito Pacers fans. I haven't seen this many sad white people since 'Seinfeld' went off the air.— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) May 27, 2013