WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2012, 7:30 PM ET (12:30 AM GMT) – American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL, Indiana Pacers vs Miami Heat
Mario Chalmers got things going offensively; scoring the first five points for the Heat, after Miami’s first two jump shots were missed.
James Jones, who made his first Miami start of the season (for an injured Dwyane Wade), hit one from deep; scoring his first attempt of the night, from downtown.
The Pacers started off blow-for-blow with the Heat and were matching their every move offensively; leading to four ties and five lead changes, in the first quarter.
Joel Anthony displayed his newly adapted soft-touch under the basket; catching the ball with authority and going up strong inside, leading to a couple of easy baskets in the paint, for Miami.
Shane Battier checked into the game, instantly exerting his strength and hustle, forcing a jump ball, after going in strong to tie up Danny Granger, on a fast-break.
End of 1st Quarter: 27-29, Miami Lead.
The Pacers started off the quarter sloppily and never seemed to get back on track to what was a good start to the game; committing four turnovers, before converting their first out of seven, field goal attempts.
James Jones was lighting it up from deep; hitting three more, to go four of four, from beyond the arc.
LeBron got to work down low, exerting his strength and managing to pick up an offensive board; ultimately leading to an and one.
Chalmers picked up a steal and dished it to LeBron for a dunk, to close the half, in the final few seconds.
Indiana shot just 30% and committed 13 turnovers, at the half; against Miami’s 50% and 5 turnovers.
End of 2nd Quarter: 39-62, Miami Lead.
The Heat hit a cold spell to start the second half, missing 7 of 10 field goal attempts; letting a 23 point lead, whittle down to a 13 point lead.
Four straight points from Chalmers sparked off a Miami run, to re-extend the lead.
Miami were doing a good job of moving the ball and finding the open man; LeBron, who was often double teamed, consistently managed to find the right teammate; picking up 13 assists, for the game.
LeBron was off to the races, in what looked to be a highlight-play dunk; until he tweaked his ankle, and hit the deck. However, he was able to recover, after initially hobbling around for a while, but was soon back in the game; managing to hit a jumper, with the clock running down, to end the quater.
End of 3rd Quarter: 66-86, Miami Lead.
The Pacers resorted to a full court press, hoping to stifle the Heat offensively, and cause some turnovers, to get back into the game.
Despite his ankle injury, from earlier in the game, LeBron didn’t check out of the fourth until the 5:08 mark; and went straight back to the locker room, instead of joining his teammates, on the bench.
Erik Spoelstra went with a three guard look, to end the fourth. Pairing Chalmers and Cole with Terrell Harris at the back. Dexter Pittman and Juwan Howard alos got minutes to end the fourth, after the lead blew open even further.
Pittman managed to flush a sweet alley-oop pass from Cole, getting D Wade and company excited on the sideline.
Final Score: 83-118, Miami W.
Miami Heat –
LeBron James: 33 points, 13 assits, 8 rebounds
Chris Bosh: 22 points, 6 rebounds
Udonis Haslem: 10 rebounds
Indiana Pacers –
Roy Hibbert: 16 points, 12 rebounds
Paul George: 3 assists
Article written by Lewis Rose
Find Lewis on Twitter: @LewisHoopAsylum