Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers (+3.5, 182)
THE STORY: The Miami Heat are back to being the favorite in the Eastern Conference. Two straight transcendent performances from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will do that. After combining for 70 points in a Game 4 win, the two stars went for “only” 58 but got plenty of help on both ends in a 115-83 demolition in Game 5. The Indiana Pacers added injury to insult on Tuesday, with both Danny Granger and David West going down with sprains.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT THE HEAT: Miami looked lost without Chris Bosh in Games 2 and 3 but has found a nice balance in the last two, putting suffocating defense together with strong, efficient performances from Wade and James. The Heat shot a franchise playoff-record 61.4 percent from the field while holding Indiana to 33.7 percent in Game 5. Miami pushed the lead to as much as 37 points late in the fourth quarter en route to going up 3-2 in the series. The supporting cast has been unusually solid in the last two games, with Udonis Haslem playing well in both and Shane Battier stepping up with four 3-pointers in Game 5. Wade, who is reportedly dealing with a knee injury, was on the receiving end of a hard foul early that opened a cut above his eye but had little trouble the rest of the way.
ABOUT THE PACERS: Indiana’s chances rest on the tender ankle of Granger and sprained knee of West. Granger was injured in the first half and hobbled around for about three minutes after the break before sitting. X-rays were negative. West was injured at the end of the third quarter and did not attempt to continue with the game already out of hand. The two had scored only 10 points apiece at the time of their departure and were bested only by Paul George’s 11 in a terrible shooting performance. The Pacers will get the comfort of home, where they won Game 3 but lost Game 4, on Thursday.
- Over is 11-5 in the Pacers' last 16 games as an underdog.
- The Heat are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite.
- The underdog is 26-12-1 ATS in the last 39 meetings.
1. The Heat are 14 for 28 from 3-point range in the last two games after going 5 for 42 from beyond the arc in the first three contests.
2. Pacers president Larry Bird called out his team after Game 5, saying, “I can’t believe my team went soft. S-O-F-T.”
3. A total of three flagrant fouls were called in Game 5.