NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 24th
(All times Eastern)
(1) Indiana Pacers (1-1) at (2) Miami Heat (1-1), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Eastern Conference finals shift to South Beach
Saturday night when the Indiana Pacers visit the Miami Heat at American
The series is tied 1-1, but the biggest question for Game 3 was answered
Paul George, the Pacers' best player, is a go for Saturday night.
Indiana's All-Star forward suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of
Tuesday's 87-83 loss in Game 2. In a dive for a loose ball, Miami's Dwyane
Wade kneed George in the back of the head.
George remained face down on the court for several minutes, but stayed in the
game. He passed the in-game concussion test and admitted after the game that
"he blacked out."
He was diagnosed with a concussion following the game and was subjected to the
league's concussion protocol. On Friday night, the team announced that George
passed and "barring any unforeseen complications, he will play in Saturday's
game at the Miami Heat."
"I'm going to approach it the best way I can," George said before he was
The Pacers, who are 5-0 following a loss this postseason, need George, the
team's best player, to perform. He's tasked with covering LeBron James and is
the leading scorer for a team that has trouble scoring.
Game 2 was a perfect showcase for what the Heat's superstars can still do.
James and Wade scored or assisted on the final 33 points for Miami en route to
Wade shot an efficient 10-for-16 en route to a team-high 23 points, while
James tacked on 22 with seven rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots in
the triumph. Norris Cole and Chris Andersen did their part as well,
contributing 11 points and 12 rebounds, respectively, off the bench.
Miami trailed 73-69 following George's deep 3-ball at 7:19 of the fourth, but
James netted nine straight Miami points during a 13-2 run. Wade then followed
James' missed layup with a tip-slam, and padded the cushion with a short
jumper. The late flurry all but sealed the margin for the Heat.
"I needed to do something in the fourth," said James. "I needed to make a few
buckets to help us in the fourth quarter and I was able to come through for
Lance Stephenson scored 25 points to lead Indiana, which failed to build off
of its impressive Game 1 win and hold home court advantage. Roy Hibbert had 12
points and 13 rebounds.
All five Indiana starters scored double figures for the second straight game
while once again James and Wade were the lone Heat starters to crack double
digits, but Miami's reserves outscored their counterparts, 20-9.
George had 14 points, while George Hill chipped in 13 and David West was held
to just 10.
The Heat have won all five home games during the playoffs and four in a row
against the Pacers as the host.
Game 4 will be Monday night in Miami.
05/24 10:30:12 ET