Lest anyone think the Indiana Pacers caught the Miami Heat on an off night, don't forget what LeBron James said a few hours before the tip.
"But they've been talking a lot," he said. "I read a lot of clips they had before the season, said they were better than us and they should have beat us, so we'll be ready."
That was a classic Michael Jordan threat certainly aimed at intimidating the undermanned Pacers. Paul George and the Pacers didn't respond with words but instead with their play which screamed loud and clear, "BRING IT!"
Don't think both LeBron and Dwyane Wade didn't have the ball in their hands with the intent to inflict ill will on the Pacers defense. Problem was there was no where to go. Hard to say the Pacers shut down the dynamic duo considering they combined for 52 points but they made everything difficult and it wasn't because the two stars weren't trying.
The key to the win was taking care of all of the other stuff besides LeBron and Wade. Dominate the glass. Minimize turnovers. Cover the "others" around the three point line. Oh, and hit some big shots. All while playing without a healthy George Hill. D.J. Augustin put the W on ice with four free throws in the final minute which were the only point guard points for the night.
When it looked like the Heat were ready to seize the game in the third quarter, David West knocked down a rare corner three which seemed to open the lid on greatness for the Pacers. In the end, Paul George outplayed LeBron straight up, all night to show that the Pacers may have more star power than others think.
PG was asked several times in a variety of ways about his individual performance and the meaning for him. He continued to talk about the team and downplay the monster step his game took on Tuesday night. But again, there was no need to talk about what everyone saw with their own eyes.
Check out the links: