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Heat Take Series Lead, Bucks Narrow Candidate List

Entering Sunday’s game with the series tied at 1-1, the Miami Heat showed up and took the lead back with a 114-96 win over the Indiana Pacers.

For Indiana, it represented its first home postseason loss and an opportunity for the Heat to take back the home court advantage. It also showed the Pacers that the first two games weren’t really representative of the Heat’s dominance.

Heat Forward LeBron James

Heat Forward LeBron James

On Sunday by halftime, Miami already had 70 points (compared to the Pacers’ 56) and had shot from the field near 63 percent to achieve this. For a team usually dominant defensively, the Pacers didn’t really show up as they allowed Udonis Haslem to score 17 points (hitting eight of nine shots) with 23 rebounds in just 23 minutes of playing time.

For the night, Miami hit 54.5 percent of its shots from the field and incurred only five turnovers, according to ProBasketballTalk.com.

LeBron James, after being moved to the post, scored 22 points with four rebounds and three assists. Dwyane Wade learned he had dodged a suspension right before the game and added 18 points with eight assists and four rebounds. Chris Bosh contributed 15 points with three rebounds while all of the Heat’s five starters scored in double digits.

Mario Chalmers had a big third quarter as well as the Pacers showing signs of life then. They tried whittling down the halftime deficit, coming within seven points, but the Heat were too challenging.

On the Pacers side, David West led in scoring with 21 points and 10 rebounds with Roy Hibbert coming in right behind, contributing  20 points and 17 rebounds. Paul George added 13 points with eight assists (3 of 10 from the field) but not enough to let the Pacers grab another home win.

Paceres coach Frank Vogel said of the loss via ESPN, “If you’re not perfect guarding them, they’ll do what they did to us tonight. Sometimes when you are perfect with your coverages, they still find a way to make baskets. But we didn’t have a great defensive night.”

Game 4 is on Tuesday and now the Pacers will need to regroup quickly, remembering that playing at home is a good thing for them with their 6-1 record. Vegas gives the series +150 for a five-game run.

But maybe a bigger question is, will we see a repeat of Game 3? The Heat are clearly in the Pacers’ heads now as they sit at -300 to win this year’s NBA Championship while the Pacers are +1400.

Milwaukee Bucks Narrow Down Candidate List

After getting crushed by the Heat in the first round of the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks are looking ahead to the 2013-2014 season with a new coach.

The team has narrowed its list of potential candidates to three which includes Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew, Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson, and Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford. The three bring their own unique strengths and experiences with Drew being the sole candidate in the race as a head coach for the last three seasons.

Kelvin Sampson editsSampson has a history with the Bucks, serving as an assistant coach under former Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles in 2008.

If you’re a college hoops fans, you may remember him from his stint as Indiana University’s head coach from 2006 to 2008. He was forced to resign from the team due to allegations of NCAA violations.

The competition for these three isn’t over yet as second rounds of interviews will take place this week.

According to Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, “Bucks general manager John Hammond has a stronger history with Sampson – who spent two years on the Milwaukee staff under Scott Skiles – but has been increasingly impressed with the possibilities with Clifford, sources said. Clifford has come strongly recommended by three former coaching colleagues that Hammond respects – Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau and Stan and Jeff Van Gundy.”

These two are also seen as strong candidates for the open Charlotte Hornets position.



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