LeBron started out strong and fizzled out in the second half, but Wade's no-show was the big story. LeBron almost got into it with Danny Granger after the Pacers forward pulled his jersey back on a breakaway. LeBron missed the following free throw, which prompted Pacers reserve Lance Stephenson to give LeBron the choke signal. That kind of night for Miami.
We witnessed Wade's worst playoff game of his career. The former Finals MVP completely and inexcusably loafed through Game 3, making Dexter Pittman look like Wilt Chamberlain by comparison. Wade had a verbal run-in with Erik Spoelstra in the third quarter and had to be restrained before it got out of hand. If the Heat lose the series, we'll remember that as the turning point.
Well, that was interesting. Spoelstra shocked the (basketball) world by giving Pittman the starting gig in Game 3. This was a gamble that would either make Spoelstra look brilliant or desperate. Unfortunately for Miami, it was the latter. Pittman hadn't played in a game in over three weeks and it showed. He looked like a freshman who started for a varsity state championship. A very big frosh.
Chalmers had the game of his career, but it was completely negated by Wade's torpedo act. With Wade forgetting how to play basketball, Chalmers brought a much-needed dose of scoring. Most of all, he punctured the Pacers' defense and forced Indy to treat him like a legit scoring option. If we saw Wario Chalmers in Game 2, then we saw Super Mario Chalmers in Game 3.
The Pacers got in the Heat players' heads, outplayed them in every facet of the game and showed the world that they simply won't be considered underdogs anymore. Roy Hibbert (19 points, 18 rebounds and 5 blocks) was sensational from the start and probably earned himself millions of dollars this summer when he becomes a free agent. The Pacers played fearless and relentless basketball.