After hearing about poor attendance issues and fan support for Indiana Pacers games, a jam-packed Bankers Life Fieldhouse showed up to cheer their local team. Though many Heat jerseys could be spotted in the crowd, the Pacers faithful loudly booed Dwayne Wade, erupted for first time All-Star Roy Hibbert, and overall their was a certain energy that was missing in recent Pacers games was back in town.
Yet when the fans showed up, the Pacers failed to do the same.
In perhaps one of the more anticipated home games on the Pacers shortened NBA schedule this year, the Miami Heat (23-7) simply outplayed Indiana (17-11) from the opening tip to win the contest 105-90.
Playing on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back road trip, Lebron James continued to show why he may in fact be the best player in the NBA as he led the Heat with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Any fans hoping to see a once in a lifetime moment from the superstar would not leave disappointed either, as James used his athleticism in the second quarter to force a steal and finish with a rim-rocking alley-oop from Wade, and in the third quarter slam dunked a rebound to leave fans in awe.
Where the Heat looked brilliant at times, with Dwayne Wade registering 16 points with a spectacular two-handed slam in the first quarter, or Rookie Norris Cole's 18 points of seven of eleven shooting, the Pacers never looked like a team that could quite figure things out on offense or defense from the get-go, shooting 26.1% from the field to fall behind 33-16 in the first quarter.
Miami continued dominate in the second, with Miami's Big three in James, Wade, and Bosh (13 points, 7 rebounds) both scoring double-digits through the second to take a 68-39 lead at the half.
Leading the Pacers overall was David West with 14 points and 2 rebounds, while Paul George finished with 12 points off of five for twelve shooting. Danny Granger left after eleven minutes of play after injuring his ankle, and according to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, his status is day-to-day.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Pacers, who return to action tomorrow night in Cleveland.