The Heat played without Chris Bosh (out indefinitely with a lower abdominal strain), and as a result made changes to their starting lineup. Ronny Turiaf replaced Bosh in the starting lineup, although with no Bosh in the middle, the Heat had trouble matching up with Roy Hibbert and David West of the Pacers.
However, the Pacers got a lot of help from two veterans, David West and Leandro Barbosa, when they needed it the most.
With both Paul George and Danny Granger struggling shooting from the field (they combined to shoot 9-for-25), it was Barbosa who used his quickness to get by his defender to score baskets down the stretch, while West posted up against LeBron James to keep his team ahead of and close to the Heat.
West was also able to score baskets while being guarded by LeBron James and got to the free-throw line, which gave the Pacers free points, more so in the second half.
West scored 16 points while Barbosa put in eight points off the bench, although a good portion of his timely baskets came when the Pacers were having trouble getting past the Heat’s defense.
At the end of the day, the Pacers did not play perfectly but were able to leave Miami with a win, and it remains to be seen what will take place in Indianapolis. For the Miami Heat, the absence of Chris Bosh makes things hard, as both Turiaf and Joel Anthony are not scoring big men.
The Pacers would like to find a way to take advantage of that, and they need more from Roy Hibbert in Game 3 to put more pressure on the Heat’s frontcourt.
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