Miami Heat Rout Indiana Pacers In Game 5
Perhaps underplayed in the Miami Heat's consecutive losses to the Indiana Pacers earlier in the series was how long it would take the Heat to figure out how to play without injured forward Chris Bosh.
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Miami has zeroed in on an impressive formula that has staggered the Indiana Pacers: Play suffocating defense, get the rebound and go. And go and go and go.
The Pacers have learned in back-to-back games, one easy LeBron James dunk after one easy Dwyane Wade layup in transition, one sweet James assist followed by an equally pretty Wade assist, how unstoppable that breathtaking formula is.
Miami defeated the Indiana 115-83 Tuesday in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, which the Heat lead 3-2. Game 6 is Thursday in Indianapolis.
"I don't think the score is indicative of anything really," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Our challenge right now is to leave it behind us. ... As quickly as we can, this one's done."
James, who has been phenomenal against Indiana, had 30 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Wade, who has emerged from a funk that slowed him in the first three games, had 28 points.
"The one thing we want to do is continue to defend. When we defend and rebound, we're a very good team," James said. "It's always been a good thing when we rebound. It allow us to get into our break and make some plays."
Miami outrebounded the Pacers 49-35 and outscored them 22-2 in fastbreak points. When the Heat run the court like they did Tuesday, it is reminiscent of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers and Showtime.
Said Pacers coach Frank Vogel: "We've got to keep them out of transition. We've got to make Wade and James score over us. We allowed them to beat us on back-cuts and penetration. We struggled to guard them."
The Heat in the open court were beautiful to watch Tuesday, especially the final moments of the second quarter and portions of the third. James scored Miami's final four points on the half on fastbreak baskets, extending Miami's lead to 49-40.
SOURCE: USA Today
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