The Union Recorder

Local Sports

March 11, 2013

Heat win 18th straight, roll past Pacers 105-91

(Continued)

MIAMI —

Those "other guys" did their jobs, none better than Chalmers.

Miami's point guard needed only nine shots to get his 26 points, going 5 for 6 from 3-point range and making all seven of his free throws. He also grabbed seven rebounds, tying a career high.

Since Nov. 17, 2010, there have been only two instances of a player scoring at least 26 points on nine shots or less, according to STATS LLC: Chalmers on Sunday, and a 27-point effort from Chris Paul earlier this season.

"All your guys have to be live options and Rio took that to heart," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He took shots he was capable of making. ... He must be aggressive against the better defensive teams in the league."

The Pacers warmed up at the basket the Heat typically use, and just about every starter kept pre-game pleasantries such as handshakes and quick hugs to a minimum. And there were moments of physicality, but nothing near the level of those body-flying, blood-drawing clobberings that came during last season's Eastern Conference semifinals.

Then again, that series was competitive throughout. This game was essentially over just after halftime.

Miami led by nine after the opening quarter, the second-largest deficit the Pacers faced after 12 minutes all season. Indiana hardly folded; the Pacers used a 24-14 run to get within two when West scored with 2:57 left before the half. The margin was still only six in the final minute before intermission.

But the Heat couldn't have scripted a better final 6.9 seconds of the half.

After a deflection sent all the defensive matchups askew, James found himself being guarded 1-on-1 by Hibbert, so he simply drove past the 7-foot-2 center for a slam. Wade then stole the ball from George near midcourt with about 3 seconds left, took a couple dribbles and hit a 12-footer over Hibbert's outstretched arm as time expired, giving Miami a 56-46 lead at the break.

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