The Heat took control of the Eastern Conference Finals with a convincing game four win that gives them a 3-1 series lead heading back to Indiana for game five.
Chris Bosh, who had been struggling all series got off to a red hot start, scoring 17 points in the first half, mostly on jumpers both inside and outside the arc. The Heat got off to a hot start behind Bosh, leading 10-2 in the early minutes. At several points in the half, it looked like the Heat were going to pull away, but some big threes by George Hill and C.J. Watson, as well as the inside play of Luis Scola kept the Pacers in it. The Pacers struggled with turnovers as the Heat defense pressured them all over the floor, but a last second three pointer by Paul George got them within five at halftime.
The Heat blew it open in the third quarter as LeBron James took over, scoring 12 points in the quarter as the Pacers turnover problems continued. It was a classic Heat run, with their relentless defense leading to offense with James at the center of it. By the end of the third, the Heat had extended their lead to 16, and it never got close after that.
Game five is set for Wednesday night.
The Thunder got their first win in the series in game three at home on Sunday night, much thanks due to the return of Serge Ibaka, who had a huge impact on both ends of the floor. Not only did he shoot 6-7 and score 15 points, but his defensive presence entirely changed the game, as the Spurs, who had been shooting lights out and scoring bushels of points in the paint were shut down in game three.
The difference Ibaka makes cannot be overstated, and was obvious the other night, even when he isn't quite at full strength. The Spurs are a very smart team and will no doubt make adjustments heading into game four; a win would give them control of the series and a 3-1 lead, a loss and the teams will be even heading back to San Antonio.
The Lynx won their 3rd game in four days and fifth straight overall to start the season, defeating the Chicago Sky on the road yesterday afternoon. The team was tired after a brutal few days and with only nine players available, but they gutted out a win with their defense instead of their usual devastating, fast paced offense. Lindsay Whalen led the way in this one with 22, while Seimone Augustus added 17. Guard Tan White came off the bench for 10, something the team desperately needs from the reserves.
Maya Moore only scored 14, her first game under 30 points this season, but did a terrific job defending Sky star Elena Delle Donne. The win leaves the Lynx as the only undefeated team in the WNBA, as the Sky also came in 4-0. Even with all their injuries, the Lynx are looking like the best team in the league and a serious contender.
Today in history
1679: Habeas Corpus Act passes in Engliand
1703: St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great
1921: Afghanistan achieves independence from Britain
1930: The Chrysler Building opens in New York City
1940: Evacuation of Dunkirk begins
1994: Alexander Solzhenitsyn returns to Russia after 20 year exile
1999: Slobodan Milosovic is indicted by the Int'l Criminal Tribunal for war crimes
Today's musical birthday is Junior Parker, born in 1932 (d. 1971)
Tuesday. Let's do this.