Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Heat refuse to allow home losing streak
By ESPN Stats & Information
You might be able to beat the Miami Heat at home once, but forget about doing it twice in a row.
In the regular season, they lost five home games. They not only won each of their next home contests, they did it in blowout fashion. The wins came by an average of 19.4 points. That included a 35-point win over the Indiana Pacers in January, two days after losing at home to the Atlanta Hawks.
That trend continued on Tuesday, albeit in a one-game playoff sample. Their 32-point win against the Pacers made them 6-0 in their next home game after a home loss with an average victory of 21.5 points.
The 32-point loss is also the worst loss in Pacers playoff history.
The path to victory in this game was their blistering shooting -- a playoff franchise-record 61.4 percent from the field. Their 115 points is tied for the second-most in franchise playoff history and the 32-point win is third-largest in franchise playoff history.
But it was the work inside from the Heat's star duo that continued the Heat's tone from last game.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade outscored the Pacers inside five feet for the second straight game. James made all six of his attempts from this range in Game 5 and Wade went 3-for-5. The Pacers scored 16 points inside five feet in Game 5, their fewest this postseason.
Overall, James and Wade (58 points) outscored the entire Pacers starting lineup (45 points).
James' 30-point game was the 45th of his postseason career. That's as many as Dirk Nowitzki has and trails only Kobe Bryant's 85 among active players.
It also helped that Shane Battier scored more points in the first seven minutes of the game than he had over the first four games of this series combined.
The other boost came from transition scoring as the Heat scored a postseason-high 29 transition points. They are 6-0 this postseason when scoring at least 14 transition points. In each of the Heat’s three losses this postseason, they were outscored in transition.