Tonight’s Heat-Pacers game, the first of the Eastern Conference Finals, ended with about 65 lead changes and 110 clutch shots, or at least that’s how it seemed. Here are but a few of the wild events that closed out the game.
First, there was Heat guard Norris Cole executing the rarely-seen “pick-and-punch-a-guy-in-the-balls-and-roll” play.
With under 20 seconds left and the Heat ahead by two, the usually reliable Ray Allen missed one of two three throws. Paul George then made this running shot from what looks like about 28 feet from the basket to force overtime.
Indiana seemed to have taken charge in OT, leading by three with under a minute left, when Chris Bosh got loose under the hoop during a Shane Battier three-point attempt. Bosh was able to rebound Battier’s miss, lay the ball in the basket, and draw a foul for the three-point play to tie the game. I don’t have video of that, though, because I was too busy clipping this shot of what appears to be an escaped-and-on-the-lam Phil Spector celebrating Bosh’s bucket.
With time winding down, LeBron was able to cut past George Hill for what looked like it might be a game-winner. Note how easy it seems for LeBron to get to the basket.
Paul George would miss a desperate three at the other end, and the game was over. BUT WAIT. A foul had been called on Dwyane Wade. Three shots for the Pacers! George hit all three. Pacers win! BUT WAIT. There were two seconds left. And once again, LBJ would slice almost effortlessly to the hoop for an unchallenged lay-in — with Pacers center and highly-skilled shot-blocker Roy Hibbert sitting on the bench, having been taken out of the game by Indiana coach Frank Vogel.
And that, at last, was a wrap. The game seemed over. BUT WAIT! No, just kidding this time. That was really it. The Heat win, LeBron is so good he makes it look easy, and Game 2 is on Friday night, which means Frank Vogel has just under 48 hours to spend answering questions about why he didn’t have Roy Hibbert on the floor for the last play.