LeBron James scored 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 8 assists as he led the Miami Heat to a dominating 115-83 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Dwyane Wade poured in 28 points, while Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem both reached double digits as well, scoring 13 and 10 respectively.
Miami was dominant from the start, jumping out to an early lead behind Battier’s early three-point barrage and James’ consistent pacing of the offense. With Dwyane Wade in full attack mode throughout the second and third quarter and LeBron playing the act of a flying death machine in transition, the Pacers were run over and trampled as the dynamic duo fed off each others’ success yet again.
While the score may resemble that of a lightly-contested outing, it was just the opposite. The Heat ran away with the game, but hard fouls and relentless effort kept the chip on both teams’ shoulders. Tyler Hansbrough was charged with a flagrant-one foul for whacking Wade in the face on an attempted layup. Shortly after, Hansbrough got an even worse dose of his own medicine as Udonis Haslem clobbered him with what seemed to be malicious intent. Haslem was also charged with a flagrant-one, but the league will review the play and likely upgrade it to a flagrant-two. Whether or not he will be suspended will be known in the coming days.
While Haslem’s future for Game 6 hangs in the balance of the league, Dexter Pitman likely won’t be so lucky. His elbow to the neck of Lance Stephenson was a vicious, uncalled for attack that will likely earn him a multi-game suspension. What’s worse is Pitman winked shortly after it, almost as if he was satisfied with his effort. Stephenson was taken to the locker room for a concussion test shortly after the game.
Unfortunately, the game was not without injuries as well. Danny Granger rolled his ankle after landing on James’ foot. He returned but re-aggravated it after trying to stop James from penetrating the lane.
With so many regrettable and unfortunate incidents on Tuesday night, the Heat still showed just why they can be worth all the hype. They effectively neutralized Roy Hibbert and sparked the transition game like they haven’t all series. James had two breakaway dunks, one a two-hander and the other a hellacious windmill. He flung a beautiful one-handed cross court pass to a cutting Wade on a 2-1 fast break that ended in another dunk in what was potentially the highlight of the night (potentially because there were so many to choose from with Miami’s freakish pace).