Indianapolis (TSN) – David West racked up 30 points behind a near-perfect shooting display, and the Indiana Pacers kept up their recent home dominance with an impressive 102-89 triumph over the defending world champion Miami Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
West went 12-of-15 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line while also pulling down a game-high seven rebounds. Four other Pacers scored in double figures and Indiana shot 55.7 percent as a team en route to its 13th consecutive win at home.
Paul George and Lance Stephenson each contributed 15 points to the victory, with George Hill adding 12 for Indiana.
The Heat were coming off a 105-85 road rout of Brooklyn on Wednesday, but weren’t nearly as sharp in this one and dropped to 1-2 on their current four- game trip.
Miami shot just 47.1 percent overall against the league’s top-ranked team in field goal percentage defense, and committed 11 turnovers that the Pacers converted into 16 points.
LeBron James came through with 28 points and six rebounds for Miami, while Dwyane Wade finished with 17 points and Chris Bosh had 13 in the setback.
Down 23-20 with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Pacers took control via a 13-0 run and never trailed thereafter.
Tyler Hansbrough sparked the surge by dropping in seven points, and his short jumper less than two minutes into the second quarter put Indiana ahead by double digits at 33-23.
A 9-2 Miami spurt capped by James’ three-point play brought the visitors within 40-39 with five minutes left in the half, but a West basket followed by a Stephenson triple gave the Pacers some breathing room. Indiana would go into the break owning a 53-45 lead behind 16 points from West and a 54.3 percent field goal percentage as a team.
The Pacers came out strong to begin the third quarter as well, netting the period’s first six points to extend the differential to 14 with under three minutes elapsed in the frame. Indiana owned a cushion of as many as 19 points during the stanza and entered the fourth quarter holding a comfortable 80-65 advantage.
Miami didn’t seriously threaten in the final session either, with the Heat never getting their deficit under 12 points over the remainder of the tilt.
Notes: James was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Month for January after averaging 27.0 points, 7.2 assists and 1.9 steals over 12 games. It’s the third straight month the reigning NBA MVP has received the honor …. The Pacers have now won three straight regular-season meetings between the teams, including an 87-77 decision in Indianapolis in which the Heat were held to a season low in points … Heat guard Ray Allen was held scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting in 27 minutes of action … Miami lost for only the second time in 10 matchups with the Pacers since 2010-11 in which James scores 25 or more points … Indiana’s current home win streak is its longest since a 14-game run in 2002-03.
“Really proud of our guys for playing with great intensity and focus for 48 minutes. They are a great team and you have to play great to beat them. We want to try to be dominant at home and we’re getting there. I think the last four games our ball movement has been exceptional. David West was spectacular. He has a way of giving us contagious confidence. He has that look that carries over to everyone else where we’re not going to lose tonight. (On Sam Young) He gives us defensive confidence. He’s going to be in their face and be a pain. He knows how to pick his spot and play his game.”
“(On his shooting streak in the game) A lot of them were in close and we did a good job of just sticking with what we were trying to do. We had a good day of preparation. And we made plays where we needed to make plays. They’re one of the best teams in the NBA, so it’s good to beat them. But we can’t overreact to this. We match up with them, and I think we have some familiarity with them from the playoff series. It’s just one game and they’re a tough team. And they’re going to adjust the next time we see them. We just have to continue to prepare. (On the team’s winning streak at home) Again, I think we’re taking pride in our preparation. We’re able to make some adjustments, showing some maturity in our team, adjusting at halftime. We’re going out on the floor and executing what we’re trying to do. We still have a lot of room to grow but I think it’s a sign of maturity for us that we’re preparing the right way. (On the comfort level among his teammates) It starts for us on the defensive end. If we’re together defensively we feel like we have an opportunity to win most games ahead of us.”
“(On his shoulder) It’s day to day. I’m fine. I went through it last year a little bit and know what to do. I’m fine with it. (On the victory) I feel like anytime we play as a team and play together on the offensive end and the defensive end, we’re a tough team to beat. We just showed tonight we’re tied together and we’re ready. (On Monday’s game against the Bulls) It’s big. It’s Chicago. But at the same time it’s just another game to us. We just have to continue to do what we’ve tried to do all year long, and that’s play together and get stops on the defensive end.”