Heat Pacers Rivalry Brewing, Kobe Drops 20: NBA Wrap Up
Game of the Night: Heat Pacers Rivalry
A Heat Pacers rivalry is brewing in the Eastern Conference. The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers squared off Tuesday night for the first of four regular season match ups this year. And if game one is any indicator, this is sure to produce some thrillers.
There wasn’t much flash in this game as it was hard fought, with shoving and pushing throughout. Even as the clock wound down to zero, players from both sides could be seen talking junk to each other.
“Everybody was talking,” Pacers forward David West said. “We circle them on our calendar and they circle us. We’ll see them in Miami next week.”
This time the Pacers outmuscled the Heat to get the 90-84 victory. Behind the inside power game of Roy Hibbert, the Pacers out rebounded the Heat 43-33. Hibbert scored 24 points and disrupted the inside offense of the Miami Heat all night. He also made a crucial stop on Lebron James late in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers have managed to defeat the Heat in each of their last four regular season games. But winning games in the regular season only gets you to the playoffs. After being eliminated by the Heat in last season’s playoffs, this Pacer team is hungry to prove that they have what it takes to represent the East in the 2014 NBA finals.
Return of Kobe Part II
Kobe Bryant changed his grade from an F in his return on Sunday night to a D after watching film. “The Return of Kobe” continued on Tuesday night against Phoenix. Though he’s not making A’s just yet, Kobe told the media his performance was worth a B.
Bryant scored 20 on his second night of action after an eight month recovery from a torn achilles. It wasn’t enough to help the Los Angeles Lakers (10-11) defeat Goran Dragic and the surprising Phoenix Suns (12-9). Dragic scored 12 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and the Suns looked sharp in their victory.
Phoenix was predicted in the preseason by many to be in contention for the lottery, not the playoffs. But so far this season, first year coach Jeff Hornacek has the Suns playing like a playoff team.
“I think we have a group of guys who play hard all the time, and they’re not selfish,” Hornacek said.
Bryant started off his night against Phoenix with his first dunk of the season. He played 29 minutes and helped lead an attempted fourth quarter comeback that came up short. The match ups don’t get any easier for Kobe’s return. Friday night they take on Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Highlight of the Night
Kawhi Leonard needs to jump higher if he’s going to score on Amir Johnson.
Tweet of the Night
Actor and Comedian Mike Epps took over @nbatv Tuesday night.
Birdman looks kinda like my daughters crayon box. #EppsTakeover
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 11, 2013
NBA Wrap Up This Week: Dec 9